SusChem partner EuropaBio has recently published a brochure highlighting its policy initiatives and resources for SMEs in the biotech sector. EuropaBio established a dedicated SME platform in 2009.
The EuropaBio brochure highlights six key recommendations that can help biotech SMEs to flourish in Europe. These include making EU funding instruments more accessible to biotech SMEs through improving the awareness of initiatives such as European Investment Bank loans, and developing short term investment vehicles that can increase the availability of risk capital. Maximising the use of European State Aid rules at member state level and developing measures and opportunities to capture the value of research within Europe are also important. Further simplification of rules for participation in EU Framework Programmes for Research is also required and the achievement of measures such as the Enhanced Single European Patent.
Biotech SMEs are active in all sectors from healthcare to industrial and agricultural applications, often working with larger companies to develop solutions for longer, healthier and greener lives. In the healthcare sector, for example, larger biopharmaceutical companies are increasingly relying on external R&D. This is mostly performed by emerging SMEs which represent as much as 30% to 50% of the research pipeline for many major companies.
Andrea Rappagliosi, Chair of EuropaBio said: “These enterprises have the high-end skills to deliver the innovative products and services and the smart, sustainable and inclusive growth that the EU is seeking. But if we want them to fulfil their potential there are some significant barriers that we need to break through. This new publication consolidates the aims and achievements of EuropaBio’s SME Platform, highlights the obstacles still in the path of biotech SMEs and makes six clear recommendations on how to tackle them.”