“BIOTECHNICA has demonstrated the importance of biotechnology to all areas of life as well as the economy,” commented Stephan Ph. Kühne, Member of the Managing Board of Deutsche Messe AG, Hannover, at the end of Europe’s biggest biotechnology and life science exhibition. “It has once again underscored its status as a networking hub for industry and science,” he added. “Many exhibitors are leaving Hannover with a sense of optimism and fresh ideas for brisk post-show business. Now the task at hand is to also convince the broad public of the great potential offered by biotechnology.”
“In view of framework conditions currently affecting the biotech industry, this is a solid outcome indeed,” reported Kühne. “The high caliber of the visiting professionals and the large number of exhibitors from abroad, as well as the presence of international market leaders, has instilled a sense of optimism in the industry. BIOTECHNICA was a worthwhile experience for exhibitors and visitors alike,” he concluded.
This interpretation was shared by Claus-Dieter Kroggel, Head of the Central Office of Fraunhofer ITEM, Hannover: “BIOTECHNICA is Europe’s essential bioengineering exhibition. We come here regularly to assert our presence in the marketplace. We are primarily interested in cultivating existing contacts and meeting new customers. Here we can also reach our important industrial clients. We have already booked our stand for next year.”
The exhibitor lineup at BIOTECHNICA 2010 – with some 500 enterprises from 23 different nations – was on a par with that of the most recent comparable event staged back in 2008. The turnout by foreign exhibitors was very high, at 32 percent. Switzerland was the country with the largest contingent of foreign exhibitors, followed by the United States, France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
Exhibitors reported that their main objectives for appearing at BIOTECHNICA were to generate new leads among potential business partners as well as to cultivate existing customer contacts. “BIOTECHNICA is extremely well organized and extremely valuable for exhibitors and visitors from the segments of research, industry and education. This exhibition is demonstrating progress in all areas. We were very satisfied with our appearance here, since we were able to generate a number of valuable and promising leads. I am certain Russia’s participation at BIOTECHNICA will grow substantially in the coming years,” declared Dr. Raif G. Vasilov, President of the Moscow-based Russian Biotechnology Society.
Greater internationality and enhanced quality of visitors
Around 25 percent of visitors came from abroad — five percent more than the previous year. Attendance was up from Europe, above all from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and France, but also from the United States and Russia. The biggest visitor nations consisted of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland and the United States.
Some 5,000 visitors came from the R&D and scientific sector. Their main motivations for attending the event were to gain a general market overview, pick up on the latest innovations and to get in touch with potential cooperation partners. Visitors were especially interested in the sectors of biotechnology, lab equipment and pharmaceutical/medical applications. 72 percent of the professionals in attendance indicated having purchasing authority at their companies. The share of visitors with decisive procurement authority was up a substantial 10 percent compared with previous events. The rate of visitors from higher management echelons — 22 percent — was at an all-time high.
Impressive conference program
More than 500 speakers from across the globe made the conference program a special highlight at BIOTECHNICA. The show’s conferences, forums and workshops drew attendance by over 3,000. This year’s range of topics extended from biomedicine and bioinformatics to the food markets of the future. The conference focus was closely geared to the content of the exhibition.
For the first time ever, Molecular Diagnostics Europe – a conference and special display – was staged as an integral event at BIOTECHNICA. The focus was on automatic testing systems for the rapid and unambiguous diagnostics of cancer and infectious diseases. Among other themes covered at the BIOTECHNICA conferences were innovative IT solutions for biotech research, the development of new proteins to combat cancer and chronic infections and food production and security. Additional visitor magnets included stem cell research, biobanks and forensics. Company founders moreover had an opportunity to make a presentation before an audience of potential investors at the Bio@Venture Conference. At press time, the “bone-tec 2010” congress – focusing on the use of bioengineering to regenerate bone, gristle, sinews and ligaments – was gearing up for another successful staging. For the first time ever, the World Congress for Preventive and Regenerative Medicine was held concurrently with BIOTECHNICA, featuring researchers presenting the latest therapeutic approaches to treating skin, bone and wound pathology.
Networking hub for business, government and science
BIOTECHNICA served as a networking hub for experts and opinion leaders from business, science, research and government – all of whom exercise a decisive influence on the future of European biotechnology. The leading political decision-maker for pan-European health care policy, EU Commissioner John Dalli, also attended the event in Hannover.
A key objective of BIOTECHNICA involves the integration of science and industry. The Berlin-based Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) presented research projects completed in 2009 at the biotechnology projects forum. Some 120 researchers were on hand during the three-day show to speak with visitors and answer their questions. The “BIOTECHNICA Innovation Forums”, which were staged directly in the exhibition hall amid the exhibitor and product presentations, were particularly well attended.
The “BIOTECHNICA Partnering” program brought together potential partners from 33 different nations. A total of 285 participants engaged in some 650 face-to-face meetings aimed at finding the right collaboration partners. This outcome reflected a 26-percent rise in the number of meetings held, and a 20-percent increase in the number of participants.
The “jobvector career day” also met with a big response. 15 enterprises, including industry heavyweights like BASF, appeared before numerous applicants to advertise for the right specialists.
Carrying a prize purse of EUR 75,000, the EUROPEAN BIOTECHNICA AWARD was presented at the event. The winner was the Galapagos NV company, based in Mechelen, Belgium. The company specializes in research and development of anti-body and small molecular therapies for the treatment of various diseases such as cancer, diabetes or Alzheimer’s.
The next BIOTECHNICA will be staged from 11 to 13 October 2011.