The Council of European BioRegions (CEBR) published a position paper to address the major challenges faced by the managers of European life science ecosystems and prepare possible solutions in coordination with the European Commission.
The document represents CEBR’s current views on the role and situation of European life science ecosystems, including clusters, industry associations, incubators and industry parks, and how they could be better integrated into a stronger European Research and Innovation framework.
BioM is a founding member of CEBR and supports the Position Paper of CEBR. Prof. Horst Domdey, Managing Director of BioM, stated:
"BioM had a lead role in setting up the Position Paper, and strongly supports its contents. With CEBR it is possible to speak to regional, national and European decision makers with a strong voice in the name of Europe’s life science ecosystem managers. With a wider recognition and support for such facilitating organizations, the growth environment for life science SMEs can be enhanced substantially."
The Role and Situation of European Life Science Ecosystems
The Council of European BioRegions (CEBR) was initiated in 2002, and consolidated through the Europe Innova ABCEurope (Advanced Biotech Cluster platforms for Europe) project, where 13 leading European bio-regions formed a partnership to raise both the quality and quantity of support services for biotech SMEs across Europe. Since 2013, CEBR is organized in a formal network as a non-profit association based in Brussels, Belgium.
CEBR’s vision is to exploit synergies and to strengthen transfer of knowledge and collaboration between life science ecosystems in Europe. The aim of all members is to support sustainable growth for SMEs, creating a competitive Europe in the global economy.
- There is a severe lack of European funding instruments to support pre-seed and seed R&D projects.
- There is no comprehensive overview of current funding schemes for cluster/ecosystem managers available.
- Existing multi-regional funding schemes often contradict regional funding regulations.
- There is a real need for a sector-specific operational network of European life science ecosystems.
CEBR encourages counteractive EU-wide measures to address above shortages:
- Pan-European challenges related to SME funding should be defined and monitored, especially with regards to pre-seed and seed funding gaps.
- Funding instruments in the life science sector for European SMEs need to be mapped and made accessible to life science ecosystem managers and their SMEs.
- To facilitate easier access to the European market - also from within -, market entry schemes and support-initiatives need to be mapped and made simpler.
- For a joint global internationalization approach of the European life science sector, we need a clear alignment of regional, national, and European policies and initiatives, including a clear common future strategy.
CEBR suggests the following measures to the European Commission on how it can help life science ecosystem managers in supporting SMEs: