Unitectra wins European Biotechnica Award
The Swiss technology transfer organisation Unitectra is the winner of the European Biotechnica Award 2011. The specialist for technology transfer received the award from hands of Lower Saxony's Minister for Economy Jörg Bode. The CEO of the Swiss Biotech Association, Domenico Alexakis, described Unitectra as a "global top performer in its class." Since its foundation in 1996, the non profit organisation, which is owned by the Universities of Bern and Zurich, negotiated more than 6,300 research cooperations between academia and industry. This resulted in 63 start up companies and creating more than 1,000 jobs so far.
The European BIOTECHNICA Award was presented by Deutsche Messe AG as part of a festive evening event on the first day of Biotechnica. The fair takes place from October 11 to 13 in Hanover. This year for the first time, a technology transfer organisation has won the prize. Compared to previous years, Deutsche Messe introduced a number of changes for the Biotechnica Award. The most important thing: So far, only European biotech companies were eligible for the award. From 2011 on the focus can vary in each round. This year, the Award targeted technology transfer organisations. A decision which was welcomed by the Chairman of the Jury Karsten Henco: "The lack of commercial perspective in academic research institutes is something that has been a concern to me for a long time." Together with the other members of the jury the biotech investor Henco had made a short list of five finalists. Unlike in previous years, this year there was only one prize and there is no money in it. Herbert Reutimann, managing director and co-founder of Unitectra, was nevertheless happy with the award. "For us, this is a valuable recognition for the work we have done in the past 15 years."