EU Biobiz project helps scientists launch new biotech companies

January 26, 2004

Brussels, 23 January 2004

The European Union is supporting a fourth series of "Biobiz" workshops to boost the creation of new biotech companies. Biobiz is a specific support action in the Sixth Research Framework Programme (FP6, 2002-2006) and aims at providing European scientists with the knowledge and tools to create new companies in the life science and biotechnology sector. The training courses focus on issues such as access to capital, technology transfer, business plans, business-related regulation and business incubators. 30 workshops across the European Union, including candidate and associated countries, as well as the United States, will be organized during the next three years. 350 prospective biotech entrepreneurs have participated in the past editions of the initiative so far. 40 new biotech companies have been created.

"Growth and job creation in key sectors such as life sciences and biotechnology are mainly driven by new companies", said European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin. "Through the life sciences and biotechnology action plan the European Commission is committed to removing barriers to entrepreneurial development in this sector. One of the barriers for researchers, who would like to create their own company, is the lack of knowledge and training in management and finance. This is particularly acute when they seek to obtain venture capital. Biobiz helps fill this gap and meet the entrepreneurial challenge in the biotechnology sector."

Biobiz workshops

Biobiz 4 is the fourth series of 3-day workshops organised by the Eurobiobiz team since 1998. With the support of successive research framework programmes, these workshops have enabled the training of over 350 scientists, of which more than 40 have created new companies to date, while many others now have roles in technology transfer, venture capital funds or business incubators in the biotech sector ("bio-incubators"). Biobiz workshops effectively represent the mission of specific support actions, that aim to support the implementation of FP6 and in particular to stimulate, encourage and facilitate the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), small research teams, newly developed and remote research centres and organisations from the candidate, accession and associated countries in FP6.

Busy at Biobiz

During these three-day workshops, participants will cover issues such as business plans, securing capital, start-up dynamics and review what specific skills and knowledge they need to be successful. Participants learn how to work with specific interactive software and come away with their own fully licensed copy. Experienced trainers and experts in management and finance provide genuine insights though their presentations and evaluations. In addition, participants have an opportunity for personal counselling sessions on their business projects under a confidentiality agreement. This is a new feature of Biobiz.

Who should attend?

Biobiz is intended for researchers in life sciences from Member States, candidate and associated countries with a clear idea of a business project. But individuals in bio-incubators, technology transfer offices or venture capital firms dedicated to life sciences and biotechnology can also apply. Participants will be selected according to the maturity of their project and the relevance of their application.

How much does it cost?

Because most of the cost is supported by the European Commission, the individual participation fee is reduced to €300 for nationals from EU member and associated countries and only €100 for citizens from candidate countries. For institutions and companies the charge is €600 euros per person, including tuition material and catering. There is no funding to cover travel and accommodation costs.

When and Where?

Beginning in March 2004, the first workshops will take place in the UK, Germany and France. See annex below for detail of locations and dates. This series of Biobiz makes a particular effort to involve candidate and accession countries (with ten workshops) while continuing to foster bio entrepreneurship in EU Member States. Another novelty is represented by the two workshops in the USA which are targeting EU researchers working in the US who may consider coming back to Europe to set up a business.

For the latest listing of confirmed of dates and for registration of Biobiz workshops see annex or

http://www.eurobiobiz.com/workshops.php3 .

For the thematic priority on life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health in the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) see also:

http://www.cordis.lu/lifescihealth/home.html .

Biobiz contact:

Michel Lepers, EuroBiobiz,

Tel.: +33.473.64 43 36

E-mail: michel.lepers@eurobiobiz.com

ANNEX

Forthcoming Biobiz workshops:

    2004:
      Cambridge (UK) 16-18 March 2004

      Heidelberg (D)  20-22 April 2004

      Paris (F)   11-13 May 2004

      Amsterdam (NL) 1-3 June 2004

      Milan (IT)   29 June-1 July 2004

      Basel (CH)   14-16 September 2004

      Barcelona ( E)  13-15 October 2004

      Stockholm (S)  9-11 November 2004

      Dublin (IRL)   30 November-2 December 2004

    2005:
      Prague (CZ)   January 2005

      Berlin (D)   February 2005

      Montpellier (F)  March 2005

      Warsaw (PL)   April 2005

      Budapest (H)   May 2005

      Vienna (A)   June 2005

      Edindurgh (UK) July 2005

      Athens (GR)   September 2005

      Boston (USA)   October 2005

      Bruxelles (B)   November 2005

      Roma (IT)   December 2005

    2006:
      Bratislava (SK)  January 2006

      Lisbon (P)   February 2006

      Tallinn (EST)  March 2006

      Bucarest (RO)  April 2006

      Sofia (BUL)   May 2006

      Tel Aviv (IL)   June 2006

      Vilnius (LIT)   July 2006

      Krakow (PL)   September 2006

      Lubliana (SLO)  October 2006

      San Diego (USA) October 2006

Please consult website for latest listing of confirmed of dates and for registration:

http://www.eurobiobiz.com/workshops.php3 .

DN: IP/04/93 Date: 23/01/2004

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