Hungary and Poland join forces
24.05.2013 - Hungary and Poland will cooperate to create a biotech cluster with global reach.
On the first day of the Bioforum conference in Budapest, the heads of the Polish and Hungarian biotech associations signed a cooperation agreement aimed at creating a joint cluster. „Hungary and Poland separately are not able to build an effective and strong business cluster for the biotech sector,“ said Erno Duda, President of the Hungarian Biotech Association (HBA). „After having signed this cooperation agreement we have a great chance to create such a cluster, which will develop in scale of international biotech market and, at the same time, will support local initiative and start-ups.“ Tadeusz Pietrucha, who heads the recently launched Polish Biotech Association (PBA) added: „The global biotech market is hard to reach for small and medium companies from the CEE region. Therefore, we have to cooperate to show our potential in…the biotech world”.
The agreement summarises the most pressing needs of the life sciences sector in both nations but also in the whole Central and Eastern Europe (CCE) region. Both associations will join their forces and their member companies’ skills to attract more national funding and EU grants as well as international collaborators from the biotech and pharmaceutical sector. The plan is supported by their national governments, represented by Grazyna Henclewska, undersecretary of Polish Ministry of Economy and by Zoltán Cséfalvay, vice-minister of Hungarian National Economy, at the conference.
Biotechnology plays an increasing role in the CEE countries. While the sector is young, it is growing and has a strong science base, with biosimilar drug developers, clinical and contract research organisations, and life sciences research companies. Most recently, IBM signed an agreement with Poland’s new Centre for Pre-clinical Research and Technology (CePT), a €100m EU investment aimed at pooling researcher know-how from three universities and seven research institutes to create a fully integrated drug discovery and diagnostics value chain.