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Life Sciences Report 2017 / 2018

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14 Life

14 Life Sciences Report 2017 | 2018 – Start-ups BAYER: SCIENCE FOR A BETTER LIFE At Bayer, our focus on life sciences enables us to take on some of the biggest challenges of our time – from improving medical care for an aging population to increasing agricultural productivity, so we are ready to sustain a global population of nine billion by 2050. As we seek solutions to these global challenges, collaboration is at the heart of everything we do. Our doors around the world are always open to new talents, partners, and innovative ideas. Visit us at www.pharma.bayer.com

Life Sciences Report – The Place to be for Start-ups 15 The Place to be for Start-ups The German capital is one of the top three European tech start-up cities. This is a major attraction for investors, industry, and high-class researchers from all over the world who come to settle in the Berlin- Brandenburg HealthCapital region. The lively mix of economic players and scientific institutions, the diverse selection of initiatives, the well-developed infrastructure, and the beneficial location factors make the capital region a unique hub for start-ups. Over the last five years, more than 100 life sciences companies have been founded in Berlin-Brandenburg. This dynamic is still ongoing. Visible indicators include not only the number of new start-ups, but also the wide range of networking activities and services for start-up founders. Our main start-up engine is the fact that the fields of life sciences and digital technologies are merging more and more. Digitization is advancing all segments of the healthcare industry, and has seen outstanding development over the last few years. The trend towards app-based applications for prevention, diagnostics, and treatment has only just begun, but the potential and demand involved indicate it will develop substantially into a strong market. The capital region has an outstanding position in this area. With a large number of accelerators, incubators, investors, and events, the region has developed an ecosystem that offers ideal and fertile ground to start-ups (see Digital Health chapter). Attractive conditions for start-ups There are eight technology parks in the capital region focused on life sciences, offering start-up founders readyto-use laboratories and technical infrastructure. The region continues to invest in infrastructure to meet the growing need for qualified areas. A technology and incubator center (FUBIC) will be built near FU Berlin by 2021 thanks to a 50 million euro investment. The over 60 incubators and accelerators in the capital region offer founders and start-ups a leg up in developing their ideas and networking with other players. More and more, large pharmaceutical and IT companies are working with start-ups. Bayer’s CoLaborator offers young companies in the chemical and biosciences field suitable and complete laboratory and office spaces in close proximity to their own researchers. The company’s goal in doing so is to drive research and innovation forward and to serve as initial contacts for start-ups searching for potential cooperative partners. One initiative by pharmaceutical company Pfizer is the Berlin Research Lab. Its goal is to foster innovation and promote cooperation between partner companies. For example, research partners can come from biopharmaceutical or biomedical research backgrounds. Germany’s dynamic biotech sector is an important initiator for pharmaceutical research. Another interesting service is the TU Berlin’s Inkulab. It offers custom-tailored infrastructure and an incubator program for scientists from Berlin universities focused on the life sciences, green chemistry, and nanotechnology. Inkulab supports people interested in founding start-ups who have achieved economically viable research results at Berlin universities and want to found a company. In addition, young companies with financing can use the university’s laboratories and consulting services. The goal is to ensure fast technological transfer between research and the development of products and services that are ready for the market in the early start-up phases of companies. This is an example of how universities and scientific institutions are working in the capital region. Most new companies founded in the life sciences sector are spin-offs of local universities and scientific institutions intensively pursuing start-ups with a large number of concepts, activities, and their own incubator teams. The Berlin Institute of Health and the Charité foundation established the SPARK accelerator program after the example of Stanford University. In addition to supporting individual transfer projects using funds for continued training measures on application strategies, it also consists of a mentoring program for networking with partners from industry and concrete consulting services. Overall, the goal of SPARK Berlin is to focus more on the quality and clinical viability of research work and to place greater emphasis on cooperative relationships between scientists, industry and investment partners. The numerous business plan competitions are another stimulating element for start-ups, and provide founders initial feedback on their business ideas. The most prominent example is the Berlin-Brandenburg business plan competition, which is one of Germany’s largest with 140 events and a network of over 200 consultants and over 500 business plans submitted per year.

Publications in English

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