3 Oct 2008

BIOTECHNICA 2008 to Feature Cornucopia of Cutting? Edge Topics

elEconomista.es 2/10/2008

Whether it involves new medicines for cancer, innovative vaccines, new plant varieties, energy–saving detergents or genetic fingerprints, biotechnology has become en established fixture in our lives. Running from 7 to 9 October, Europe´s biggest biotech exhibition, BIOTECHNICA, will be demonstrating a myriad of promising application opportunities for bioengineering, from heath care and food production to industrial manufacturing, environmental protection and even forensic tools. "Things could scarcely be more exciting," declares Stephan Kühne, member of the managing board at Deutsche Messe, based in Hannover, Germany, explaining that visitors would be able to "experience the enormous potential and opportunities offered by state–of–the–art biotechnology, both today and tomorrow."

New annual cycle meets with positive response
The new annual cycle for the exhibition has met with a wave of positive reactions. Right from the start, a total of 530 exhibitors from 26 different nations will be displaying their latest products and developments. Among this year´s exhibitors are numerous market leaders like Boehringer Ingelheim, Eppendorf, GE Healthcare, Invitrogen, Merck, Qiagen, Sartorius and Thermo Fisher Scientific. The event features exhibits on over 8,200 square meters of floor space. In addition, the Convention Center has been completely booked out for conferences. "This is well ahead of our targets, since the shift to a new, annual event automatically meant a smaller BIOTECHNICA at first. We are interpreting these fine results as a confirmation of our decision to make BIOTECHNICA an annual event," asserts Kühne. Over a third of the exhibitors at this year´s event come from abroad, headed up by the United Kingdom, Austria, Switzerland and the United States.

Featuring a combination of four different event components – an exposition, conferences, partnering and the EUROPEAN BIOTECHNICA AWARD, last year´s BIOTECHNICA already established a firm foundation for the new, annual cycle. "This year we have greatly expanded the conference program and our international partnering program, offering plenty of opportunities for new content at BIOTECHNICA 2008 and creating an ideal platform for new business leads, strategic alliances and knowledge transfer," explains Kühne.
Biggest conference program in history of BIOTECHNICA

The program of conferences represents a special highlight at this year´s BIOTECHNICA. "In its size and diversity it is unique in all of Europe," maintains Kühne. The program also features Europe´s key biotech conferences, symposia and workshops, including the "European BioPerspectives" conference, the new "Science to Market" forum dedicated to biopharmaceuticals and diagnostic processes, the Bio–Politics Conference, featuring the participation of politicians and industry specialists as well as the "Industrial Biotechnology" conference, to be opened by Dr. Alfred Oberholz, board member at Evonik Industries. For the first time ever a Russo–German workshop, devoted to promoting bilateral networking, is also on the agenda.

An additional highlight consists of the two–day "EU Biotech Days", featuring high–ranking representatives from the EU Parliament and the EU Commission. The focus of the panel discussions and presentations here includes European strategies for stem cell and genetic engineering research as well as health care trends and prospects.

BIOTECHNICA draws participation of top scientists
What are the prospects for stem cell researchers to develop successful new therapies for diseases like Alzheimer´s or Parkinson´s? Can functional organs from endogenous materials be successfully constructed and implanted - for example, cardiac valves? How can renewable resources be used in industrial applications to cover the world´s growing energy needs? The BIOTECHNICA conference program features a plethora of cutting–edge topics for researchers, industry and the interested public. More than 500 international experts will be on hand to illuminate all aspects of modern biotechnology, including British stem cell researcher Stephen Minger, Swiss proteome specialist Ruedi Abersold and U.S. scientist Stephen Mayfield, whose focus is on micro–algae as a source of innovative bio–fuels. The presentation by Australian John Mattick on some surprising new findings involving previously cryptic parts of the human genome promises to be particularly exciting. A further highlight involves the presentation by forensic biologist Mark Benecke. Known as the "Lord of the Flies", the internationally prominent Benecke is a specialist in investigating the biological evidence in suspected murder cases based on insect larvae.

In addition, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will be hosting a delegation of more than 30 leading scientists from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Columbia, Cuba and Mexico at BIOTECHNICA. This international meeting is dedicated to more closely integrating the research activities of German and Latin–American institutes and companies.
Expanded HR offerings

The topic of qualified help is becoming ever more critical for the biotech industry. This year BIOTECHNICA is expanding its offerings in the Human Resources realm. "As Europe´s leading biotech event, BIOTECHNICA has a key role to play in the area of human resources to help companies locate qualified personnel," declares Kühne. Within the scope of the strongly expanded "jobvector career day" on the third day of the show, job–seekers can talk with HR representatives from big–name enterprises like Hexal, Novartis, Olympus Europa, Qiagen and Sandoz.

Dedicated hall for youth - Science you can touch

The "BioTech4U" is geared to an even younger audience. Sponsored by the German education ministry (BMBF), this special BIOTECHNICA display aims to get young people interested in a career in the natural sciences. 1,500 secondary students will get a chance to check out the research lab and high–tech offerings on display in Hall 8. They can even try out biotech experiments under the supervision of scientists. The special display will also provide young people with useful information on the various study and career options.

Finally, tradeshow visitors can experience biotechnology firsthand at the new biotech truck set up by BMBF between halls 8 and 9. This two–story biotech truck offers a complete laboratory infrastructure plus a multimedia biotech exhibition on 100 square meters of space. The truck is also worth a visit by specialists.

The tradeshow will be opened on the evening of 6 October by EU Commissioner Günter Verheugen. Other speakers at the opening ceremony are Walter Hirche, Lower Saxony´s Minister for the Economy, Work and Transport, and Dr. Jens Schneider–Mergener, CEO Jerini AG, Berlin. Verheugen will also be presenting the EUROPEAN BIOTECHNICA AWARD during the opening event, featuring a prize purse of EUR 100,000. The finalists for this year´s award are immatics biotechnologies and GeneArt from Germany and Astex Therapeutics from the United Kingdom.

BIOTECHNICA in Hanover is the leading event within the European biotech industry. It embraces every segment of biotechnology - from basic biotechnology and equipment, bio–informatics and services to the five major areas of application: pharmaceuticals/medicine, industry, food, agriculture, the chemical industry and the environment. BIOTECHNICA has been organized by Deutsche Messe AG at the Hanover Exhibition Grounds since 1985. Today, BIOTECHNICA events – BIOTECH CHINA in Asia and BIOTECHNICA AMERICA in the USA – are also held across the globe.

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