Partnering events are unique opportunities for biotechs to present their projects to potential investors and secure funding. These meetings are complemented by trade shows, presentations, and networking events. BIOSPAIN 2021 will integrate all these elements into a pandemic-compatible, hybrid conference that could become a reunion event for the international biotech industry.
In its tenth edition, BIOSPAIN 2021 – held from September 27 to October 1 in Pamplona-Iruña, Spain – is the third-largest biotech partnering event in Europe. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the organizers have set up an innovative, online-on-site hybrid event. The organizers are AseBio, the Spanish Bioindustry Association, the regional government of Navarra, and Sodena, the regional economic development organization and the host of BIOSPAIN 2021.
Re-inventing the partnering event
After organizing a number of on-site meetings in Spain, AseBio initiated their transition to digital in 2020, when they held their first online investor meeting and were surprised to see that they could double the number of investors from abroad. Also, many smaller biotechs took the opportunity to join, getting in touch with investors in the critical startup phase when travel budgets are usually limited.
This year’s BIOSPAIN will be held in Pamplona-Iruña, the capital of the region of Navarra, and a scientific cluster for biotechnology, renewable energies, food, and agriculture. It will feature a combination of on-site networking opportunities and site visits, an online trade show, presentations, and panels that will be accessible simultaneously on-site and online, as well as pre-recorded talks that will be available online on-demand.
The organizers expect about 1,500 biotech delegates in total, of which about half will be able to join on-site, depending on the pandemic situation.
At the heart of the event are over 3,000 partnering meetings, which can be joined from any location worldwide, with dedicated private space provided for those attending on-site. These meetings will be held between investors and companies to identify collaboration and investment opportunities.
Untapped investment potential at BIOSPAIN
Spain is home to the world’s tenth-largest biotech community, offering significant potential for industrial collaborations and business opportunities. Accordingly, investors and companies from across the globe have already confirmed their attendance at BIOSPAIN 2021, including the platinum sponsors Merck KGaA and ICEX Spain Trade and Investment, and the silver sponsors 3P Biopharmaceuticals, Asabys Partners, and Promega.
“With the start of the pandemic last year, health and life science industries are becoming even more relevant than before. BIOSPAIN is a great opportunity to make the most of all the relevant companies and projects that we can find in this industry in Spain,” said Susana de Antonio, Head of EU Tech Hub and Spain Representative at Euronext, also one of the silver sponsors.
Raúl Martinez Ruiz, partner of Ysios Capital, a leading life sciences investor financing highly innovative biotech companies worldwide and gold sponsor of BIOSPAIN 2021 added: “Our uninterrupted participation in BIOSPAIN since we began our investment activity has allowed us to see its usefulness as a meeting point for different national and international players to establish new links. It is an excellent opportunity to discover potential first hand.”
Pilar Irigoien, Managing Director of Sodena stated: “Hosting BIOSPAIN this year is more important than ever since it shows that Navarra is one of the most committed regions at the state level in the health industry.”
“It also helps to promote and boost the health sector at a European level, in the areas of research, technological transfer, entrepreneurship, and the development of new projects, ultimately strengthening the health sector as an industry that will continue to attract talent and resources; and that has been declared so essential at times like the ones we are living now.“
Finding answers to healthcare and climate crises
The conference presentations and panels cover the latest developments in healthcare, including immunotherapy and gene therapy manufacturing. Also, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the biotech industry will be discussed, stressing the importance of pharma-biotech-public collaborations and the integration of digital technologies in the development of new therapies. This includes personalized medicine, one of the core strategic fields in the Navarra region.
In addition, new agricultural techniques developed in response to climate change will be presented: trends in food biotechnology, new genomic methods, and the challenges of climate change and industrial transformation.
“BIOSPAIN 2021 will bring together the main agents that are contributing to the search for innovative solutions both for the health crisis caused by Covid-19 and to achieve the green transition,” said Ana Polanco, Chairwoman at AseBio and Director of Market Access and Corporate Affairs at Merck.
BIOSPAIN 2021: a pandemic-compatible biotech reunion event
While visits to the host city and personal networking can only be enjoyed on-site, the online sections of BIOSPAIN 2021 are open to a much broader audience. The hybrid conference setup reduces travel costs and carbon emissions. In fact, more than one-third of the attendees – both biotechs and investors – are coming from countries outside of Spain.
The local partners encourage visiting the city to take advantage of the opportunities that face-to-face networking provides. In addition, Sodena is committed to sustainability and responsible investment, has already held the first professional event with a positive carbon footprint, and wants to continue working along this line in the future.
As Philippe Monteyne, Partner at Fund+, said: “I attended my first BIOSPAIN in 2018 when Fund+ took the lead in the largest Biotech investment of that year in Spain, with Minoryx. Since then, I have joined several events organized by AseBio, as well as the Investor Day.”
“We are looking forward to repeating BIOSPAIN this peculiar year, where internationalization is key to consolidate our sector. BIOSPAIN allows us to find new opportunities, and Spain has several interesting projects that can attract international investors like us.”
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