he closing of the second edition of the Biotechnology and Healthcare Euro-Regional Meetings, held in Montpellier on 1 and 2 July, was marked by the formalization of the Southern Europe Biocluster (BSE), after three years of collaboration.
Launched in the framework of the Pyrenees-Mediterranean Euroregion (European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation), the BSE was created in 2007 with the aim of starting up and driving synergies and mutual cooperation between the bioregions and the key stakeholders in biotechnology and healthcare in southwestern Europe.
So far, six signatories have joined the consortium: the bioclusters Biocat (Catalonia) and BioIB (Balearic Islands), the competitiveness hubs Cancer-Bio-Santé (Midi-Pyrénées and Limousin) and Eurobiomed (Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur), healthcare and biotechnology business associations BiomedicalAlliance (Midi-Pyrenees) and Biomeridies (Languedoc-Roussillon), and the Ministry of Health of the Balearic Islands. The partners from Aquitaine (Innoval), which have been involved in this process from the beginning, and CataloniaBIO, the Association of Catalan biotech companies, are considering joining the network.
The objective of this cooperation is to facilitate the creation of trans-regional projects to promote initiatives in the fields of biotechnology and healthcare. Some of the actions being implemented include the organization of joint events, seminars and symposiums; research projects that promote interregional technology transfer; and the organization of visits and exchanges.
In the near future, the BSE plans to drive internal projects that may seek out ERDF or 7th Framework funds. One example of this cooperation is the Interbio project, which three of the bioclusters from this network participate in and which has received ERDF funds from the European Commission to promote cooperation among technology platforms and technology transfer.
Biotechnology and Healthcare Euro-Regional Meetings: key BSE project
This agreement also seeks to consolidate the Biotechnology and Healthcare Euro-Regional Meetings, which have become a key event for stakeholders in the six bioregions. After a highly successful first edition held at the end of 2007 in Toulouse, the second edition of the Biotechnology and Healthcare Euro-Regional Meetings welcomed nearly 400 participants from nine countries, with nearly 300 partnering sessions and some sixty exposition stands.
Biocat took advantage of the Meetings to firm up details of the Second Summer School on Medicines (SSM2), which will be held from 31 August through 10 September in Toulouse and Barcelona, as well as the NanoBiotechnology & IT for Health workshop, which will be held in Barcelona from 4 to 6 October.