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‘Alsace Biovalley’ brand launched to promote region’s biotech innovation

Published on 28/01/08 at 01:33pm

France has re-branded its leading biotech cluster the ‘Alsace Biovalley’ to help the region compete for investment in Europe and globally.

France's Alsace region is home to some of the most innovative new life sciences companies and laboratories, and the new Alsace Biovalley name is aimed at them. The US is the world leader in fostering biotech innovation, but in European terms, the UK and Germany have taken the lead in the numbers of biotech companies and maturity of their businesses.

Alsace Biovalley brings together previously disparate French agencies, which will now work together to provide a more joined-up service to innovative companies in the region.
The Alsace area is home to 200 companies, 60 laboratories and 15,000 employees in the innovative fields, and Alsace Biovalley believes it can be a catalyst to make the region one of Europe’s leading clusters for life science and healthcare.

France’s government hopes to boost the presence of medical research, healthcare, biotechnology, telemedicine, pharmaceutical manufacturing, surgical robotics and drugs.
The creation of a single governing board for the sector is in line with the region’s policy of keeping things simple and effective.

Several agencies have worked together with success over the last few years and in particular two support bodies, the Alsace Biovalley Association and the Pole for Therapeutic Innovations, have demonstrated the benefits of this approach and have now merged. The resulting entity, l’Association pour le développement de la filière sciences de la vie & santé en Alsace (The Association for the development of the life science and healthcare sectors in Alsace), is responsible for the co-ordination of the Alsace Biovalley cluster and brings together a number of other regional aid agencies and groupings.

President of the new association is Pascal Neuville, CSO of Faust Pharmaceuticals and previously president of the Pole for Therapeutic Innovations. Nicolas Carboni becomes general manager of the association. Carboni was general manager of the Alsace Biovalley Association, the French arm of the tri-national Biovalley cluster which includes adjacent areas of Switzerland and Germany, now merged with the Pole for Therapeutic Innovations.

“We were determined to break free of a mould based on administrative structures and move into a more market-orientated mode of operation,” said Neuville. “We believe this bringing together of complementary support organisations is a French first in the life science sector. We will now be able to co-ordinate the different agencies in a much more effective way.

 “The new approach will make the Alsace bio-region much more attractive for international companies and researchers,” said Carboni. “We are at the heart of Europe and our membership of the cross-frontier Biovalley partnership with Swiss and German regions is a huge advantage and make us one of the biggest bio-clusters in Europe.”

The Alsace Biovalley cluster brings together and encourages the development and growth of public and private entities based in Alsace, France, and involved in life sciences and healthcare. The Alsace Biovalley cluster includes the main government agencies which offer simplified access to regional services and financial grants.

The region benefits from being on the border with Germany and Switzerland, making it closely tied to the pharma and biotech companies in the neighbouring countries.

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