Biotech at its best at BIO 2018 in Boston
Over 18.000 attendees from all over the world joined the 25th anniversary of BIO International Convention in Boston two weeks ago. The conference saw a stunning number of 50.000 partnering meetings, and was awarded the Guinness World Record for ‘The Largest Business Partnering Event’. A perfect birthday gift for the organisation. With a well-visited Health~Holland Pavilion and a strong delegation of 130 Dutch biotech entrepreneurs, this year’s BIO at the epicentre of biotech proved to be a fruitful edition for the Dutch too.
Orange living room
One of the eye-catchers of the exhibition floor was the Health~Holland Pavilion. A not-to-miss orange landmark in a sea of country pavilions, featuring the Dutch LSH strengths, coffee and more. The Pavilion served as the central information point for international visitors with questions regarding the Dutch business and innovation climate and the national life sciences & health sector. In addition, the living room-like pavilion offered the Dutch conference participants a welcoming base to meet business partners.
Place to be
On Tuesday, the Holland Hospitality Reception was the exhibition floor’s best-visited happy hours. In a convincing and hilarious quiz-style speech, Hans Schikan, chairman a.i. of the Top Sector LSH, introduced the Dutch Strength to the eager crowd. His take-home message: the Netherlands is the place to be for life sciences companies. After the traditional raffle, the Loyens & Loeff bike was won by a very lucky man from Sweden. For all disappointed participants: rest assured, there will be a new bike to win at BIO 2019 in Philadelphia.
Global biotech hotspot
During Wednesday’s Global Innovation Hub, HollandBIO’s Annemiek Verkamman explained why the Netherlands has Europe’s most attractive business climate for biopharmaceutical companies. With the relocation of the EMA, the Netherlands has what it takes to evolve into a true global biotech hotspot.
Extra four-day study trip to biotech hub Boston
In addition to the BIO International Convention the Dutch Association Innovative Medicines, Task Force Health Care, Health~Holland, NSBO and the Dutch Embassy in Washington organised a four-day study trip for a Dutch delegation. It contained the visits to eight companies and healthcare institutions, like Pfizer, Sanofi-Genzyme, Sarepta Therapeutics, Lysosomal Therapeutics and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. The highlight for Hans Schikan was the meeting with Travis McCready, Director of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. According to McCready, the Netherlands, like Boston, has all the products to realise a top biotech ecosystem. "McCready praised our companies, top universities, academic hospitals and research institutes, current scientific talent and our active government that facilitates life sciences."