Baltic biotech attracts investors
17.09.2012 - The very first Life Science Baltics 2012 attracted twice as many visitors than anticipated. Investors are lured by EU funds, low cost and qualified staff.
The very first Life Science Baltics conference almost 800 life science professionals visiting Vilnius. „That’s almost twice than we expected“, Jelena Suchodumceva, Senior Project Manager at Enterprise Lithuania, told EuroBiotechNews at the conference. According to the organisers from the governmental agency, more than 80% of the attendants came from non-Baltic states such as Israel, Canada, the US or EU member states. A trade fair showcasing the offerings of more than 40 companies and over 100 pre-scheduled B2B meetings reflected the huge interest to invest in the Baltic scene.
At the conference, ThermoFisher Scientific stated it will inaugurate a €16m research and production facility next week on the grounds of former Lithuanian Fermantas AB. Furthermore, Biotechpharma UAB received an €11m cash injection from EU structural funds. The money helped the Lithuanian CMO to build a state-of-the-art biopharmaceutical facility, which will become fully operational next year at Santara Valley, a brand-new life sciences-IT incubator in the country’s capital. The cluster is one of 5 high-tech valleys supported by the Lithuanian government with investments of €400m.
Prof. Dr. Vladas Bumelis, Chairman of Biotechpharma and Lithuanian biotech mastermind, said at the conference that investors are attracted by the strong knowledge base, low cost of goods and the governmental commitment to support the life sciences sector. To become a big fish within the life science scene, however, it would be essential for the many but small firms in the Baltic region to swim in formation. According to Enterprise Lithuania, the country’s life sciences industry has been skyrocketing over the last two decades with an annual growth rate of 22%, and over 80% of the production being exported. Last year, exports from the life sciences sector amounted to €276.2m. Its main export markets were Sweden (21.1% of the total); Germany (10.9%); Italy (8.1%); UK (6.%); Denmark (6.7%); Russia (4.7%); Norway (4.6%); Poland (4.3%); France (4%); and Latvia (2.7%).