"We still have a lot to do"
16.12.2011 "We still have a lot to do"
BioRegion STERN is one of the largest and most successful bioregions in Germany. Its unique selling point is its mix of 120 small and medium-sized medtech companies and 100 up-and-coming biotech enterprises. Around 2,200 staff work in the region's biotech companies alone, representing growth of 30 percent in the past three years. Jobs in the life sciences industry have long been regarded as an engine of growth.
The team at BioRegio STERN Management GmbH have helped 64 companies with the start-up process since it was founded on 6 December 2001. These new enterprises have seen the creation of 1,400 jobs. "The start-up parks in the region are full to capacity, with research, development and production being carried out successfully on an area of over 24,000 square metres," said a delighted Barbara Bosch, Lord Mayor of Reutlingen and chair of the Supervisory Board of BioRegio STERN. The latest success was achieved by Tübingen-based CeGaT GmbH, which received the Deutscher Gründerpreis (German founder award) 2011. Founder and managing director Dr. Saskia Biskup is also one of "100 Women of Tomorrow" in the "Germany – Land of Ideas" initiative.
In the last five years, biotech companies in the region invested over 440 million euros, 350 million of which was equity funded. BioRegio STERN Management GmbH has helped secure more than 90 million euros of funding from the German federal government alone for the region. As Director of the Society for the Promotion of Biotechnology and Medical Technology e.V., Prof. Claus D. Claussen has been involved in the STERN BioRegion since the very start and is extremely pleased with this development: "The local mix of start-ups and global corporations, research institutes and universities offers ideal conditions for ensuring an outstanding biotech location with excellent connections." In 2009, the region was also honoured by the German Ministry of Economics as one of Germany's best competence networks.
BioRegio STERN Management GmbH is now involved in a total of eleven cluster projects, seven of which it implemented itself or is in the process of implementing. These include projects of importance for Germany as a whole, such as "BioProfile" on regenera-tive biology and the "REGiNA health region", a pilot project that aims to introduce regenerative medicine into patient care. In 2010, BioRegio STERN Management GmbH also won the second competition for strengthening regional clusters staged by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs. The “Engineering – Life Sciences – Automation” cluster initiative (ELSA) promotes closer ties between the life sciences industry and small and medium-sized engineering companies in the automotive and supplier industries. Many highly innovative products and services from biotech companies have outgrown the purely research and development phase and now need automation and production solutions to gain access to international markets. Dr. Klaus Eichenberg, Managing Director of BioRegio STERN, therefore focused in particular on the future at the "Tissue Factory" event held at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) on 9 December: "Automation in this sector heralds the start of a completely new and exciting stage. We therefore still have a lot to do."
Die Clusterinitiative Engineering – Life Sciences – Automation (ELSA) wird unterstützt durch das Ministerium für Finanzen und Wirtschaft Baden-Württemberg aus Mitteln des Europäischen Fonds für regionale Entwicklung (RWB-EFRE). Mehr Informationen unter www.rwb-efre.baden-wuerttemberg.de.