Working together towards new objectives and activities in the Life Science Rhine/Main/Neckar Region.
How can BioRN better support the regional life science ecosystem? How can existing opportunities be leveraged and weaknesses be overcome? How can regional stakeholders better work together to reach our common goal – turning the region in one of the world leading life science clusters worldwide? These and many more questions have been addressed and vividly discussed in the past year by the newly formed BioRN executive board.
The resulting new BioRN strategy was tested in various formats and finally presented to the Members’ Assembly in December 2018 by the Executive Board, chaired by Dr. Gitte Neubauer (CEO of Cellzome GmbH – a GSK company) together with Dr. Julia Schaft (BioRN Managing Director). With an active voter participation of 60%, the new BioRN strategy and proposed new projects have now been confirmed and strongly supported by its members.
The new BioRN Strategy depicts three key focus areas: “Stakeholder Engagement & Networking” and “Promotion of Life Science Region” remain key focus areas for BioRN as long standing and fundamental pillars of the network. A particular new emphasis is now given to the third focus area “Translational Support”. BioRN aims to increasingly leverage the unique combination of global pharma and leading innovators in the network to support active translation of excellent biomedical science into clinical applications.
In order to do so, three specific instruments have been selected. Health Axis Europe Partnering (HAEP) is a joint project between BioRN, The University of Applied Science in Mannheim, the Heidelberg University and the Ci3 cluster in Mainz and is in its current BMBF funded validation phase. It provides tailored matching between global companies and innovators and will become a stable instrument of translational support in the network. The second project HeiDelberg Discovery aims to establish a translational fund to drive early stage academic life science projects through the validation stages with the help of an experienced drug discovery team. The fund should count on a joint financial commitment of both industry and academia. In a third project (HD Incubator) BioRN works towards building a dedicated Life Science Incubator in order to create the next generation of powerhouse life science companies by providing innovators with the space and resources to test, challenge, and nurture early stage ideas. Both models (HDDiscovery and HDIncubator) are still in the conception phase and two working groups are further developing the new concepts and looking to existing successful international models to learn from the best (see “Learning from the best: how to accelerate academic research to the clinic.” and “Learning from the best part 2: Nurturing the BioRN regional startup ecosystem.”).
BioRN will act as facilitator for meetings and discussion between international players and key decision makers of the major stakeholders in the region, such as global healthcare companies, research institutions, university and technology transfer offices, innovators, government and investors.
We look forward to undertaking these new objectives towards the development of the region into one of the world-leading life science cluster.
BioRN is a life science research and industry cluster dedicated to the development of cell-specific, molecular and personalised innovative treatments. The BioRN Cluster stands for the development, networking, representation and promotion of the life science region into one of the leading life science clusters in Europe.
The cluster-members include renowned academic research institutions such as the Universities of Heidelberg, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and big pharmaceutical companies such as AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Roche, und Sanofi-Aventis, and about 80 small and medium-sized biotech enterprises. Beyond the members registered in the cluster, BioRN gives access to a wider network via partnerships and collaborations.
In terms of the use of clusters for the internationalization of companies, BioRN has founded, together with Leuven (Belgium), Maastricht (Netherlands) and Copenhagen (Denmark), an alliance for the enforcement of biomedical innovation in Europe, called the Health Axis Europe.