European and Australian organisations sign international super cluster agreement

08 June 2016

Six organisations representing life sciences and health clusters in Europe and Australia have signed a business development agreement today at BIO International Convention 2016 in San Francisco.

The agreement will help fast-track business results for companies and solve a common problem for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) – landing in new markets.

The organisations are from five regions: Adelaide (Australia), Catalonia (Spain), Auvergne-Rhone Alpes Region (France), Bavaria (Germany) and Piedmont (Italy).

The two Australian organisations, BioSA and Health Industries South Australia, signed the agreement on behalf of over 100 health industries companies and research organisations in Adelaide, a city with a fast-growing health and life sciences sector.

“Everyone has been working very hard to deliver this agreement and I’m glad it has been finalised here at BIO 2016,” said Health Industries South Australia CE Marco Baccanti.

“This cooperative effort will deliver real, practical results for companies and research organisations across all our regions, and is particularly exciting for Adelaide as it focuses on growing its health industries.”

Over A$3 billion is being invested in health and life sciences infrastructure at Adelaide BioMed City – one of the largest health and life sciences clusters in the southern hemisphere, bringing together research, education, clinical care, and business incubation and development.

“This agreement will benefit South Australian companies targeting European markets enabling them to create networks for potential commercialisation partners and customers,” said Dr Meera Verma, Acting CE of BioSA.

“It will facilitate exports, research collaboration and commercial outcomes and provide opportunities for job creation within the high-tech health sector in South Australia.”

The four European clusters – Biocat (Catalonia, Spain), BioM (Bavaria, Germany), bioPmed (Piedmont, Italy) and Lyonbiopole (Auvergne-Rhone Alpes, France) – form bioXclusters PLUS alliance.

This super cluster comprises more than 3,300 SMEs, focusing on drug development, healthcare and medical technology.

This initiative is co-funded by the European Union’s COSME programme.

The EU's Ambassador to Australia, Sem Fabrizi, said the COSME programme supports SME competitiveness by facilitating internationalisation and creating a single European entry point for global players, including from Australia, in the life sciences health sector.

"The EU is the world's largest economy and has allocated more than A$3.5 billion over seven years for the COSME programme," Ambassador Fabrizi said. "This agreement is another welcome development in the ever deepening economic ties between the EU and Australia."

“Australia is an interesting business place for companies in Europe. In particular, this agreement will provide an easier direct access to academic and clinical research,” said BioM CEO Prof Dr Horst Domdey.

BioPmed Vice President Fabrizio Conicella is eyeing markets in Australia and beyond.

“Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing healthcare market in the world, and it makes sense for European companies to target these markets from Australia,” said Mr Conicella.

The agreement will deliver opportunities across Europe and Australia, helping create connections between businesses, clinical research institutions and hospitals.

This will be achieved by:

  • Raising awareness about business opportunities in each other’s regions.

  • Providing government support to foster relationships between business, research, education and clinical care organisations.

  • Helping companies new to a region navigate local regulatory frameworks and make connections in the local business community.

One of the challenges life sciences research companies face is finding a way to commercialise their developments.

“Having strong connections to businesses in South Australia will be great for Catalan life sciences companies looking to commercialise their IP,” said Biocat CEO Dr Albert Barbera.

Lyonbiopole CEO Florence Agostino-Etchetto said ICT applied to healthcare is a fast growing sector.

“Australia has a strong focus on big data and AI research and companies in Lyon will be able to tap into this,” said Ms Agostino-Etchetto.

More news