BioTech Helsinki Makes Debut
Helsinki - Finland's new biotechnology event “BioTech Helsinki 03” attracted more than 3,300 visitors from March 24 to 26. The event comprised a top-level international conference with 600 participants with topics ranging from bioethics and genome research to biomaterials and brain research. The exhibition with 135 exhibitors, amongs which some 35 from abroad, was organised by the Finnish Fair Corporation in co-operation with Finnish Bioindustries, Sitra (National Fund for Research and Development) and Tekes (National Technology Agency), who organised the conference. A joint investment day with about 150 participants rounded off the programme.
“The companies selected to present their business and fund-raising plans to international investors and venture capitalists had products that are ready for the markets or they operate in a niche area”, said Mike Ward, director of Critical I Ltd. and one of the directors of the UK's BioIndustry Association (BIA). According to Hannu Hanhijärvi, Director of Sitra Life Sciences, “the Investor Forum provided a chance for international investors to get acquainted with Finnish biotechnology know-how. Around 40 investors from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, Belgium, Germany and the US were participating.”
The first BioTech Helsinki Prize, endowed with Euro50,000 by Sitra, was awarded to Prof. Dr. Patrick O. Brown from Stanford University. Brown and his collegues developed a high-density DNA-array that uses nucleic acid hybridization to monitor thousands of genes simultaneously.