SME BioForum 2022 – the voice of SMEs for a competitive, sustainable and healthy Europe

SME platform, chaired by Assobiotec Board Member and NCNbio CEO Maria Luisa Nolli, represents over 2.300 SMEs across NAC Members with the mission of the direct advocacy to build competitive SMEs. It is the voice of SMEs in biotechnology.

On December 13th, EuropaBio (the European Association for Bioindustries) hosted its first public SME BioForum event, SME BioForum 2022 – the voice of SMEs for a competitive, sustainable and healthy Europe.

A group of experts consisting of SME participants and European policymakers (Paschalia Koufokotsiou, Pharmaceutical and Health Policy, DG SANTE, EC and André Meyer, SME Envoy Network, Outreach activities coordination, DG GROW, EC) was moderated by EuropaBio Director-General Claire Skentelbery. The panel joined the event to present and debate the latest policy developments for ATMPs and Europe’s Green transition and share recommendations for achieving a competitive, sustainable and healthy Europe.

SME BioForum EuropaBio: bringing the story of SME at national and European level

During the BioForum, the speakers emphasized a set of recommendations to address the challenges of the ATMPs development, in terms of regulatory pathways, market fragmentation, bottlenecks to growth, biomanufacturing and disruptive technologies.

The speakers underlined the need for interventions in specific fields:

  • Regulation: reinforce regulatory agency resources and foster early engagement with them to reduce the time-to-market, simplify and harmonise requirements and procedures, promote sandboxes for disruptive technologies, adapt HTA, consider new payment models.
  • Awareness: promote awareness, education and professional development on biotechnologies.
  • Partnerships: foster public/private collaboration and partnerships with larger companies and strategic sectors.
  • Investments: incentivise investments into SME-oriented and in house facilities development for small scale batches and capacity for start-ups and scale-ups in manufacture.
  • Digitalisation: improve data sharing standards and funding for SME digitalisation.

Every challenge is an opportunity

Maria Luisa Nolli gave the closing speech, a few words about the SME scenario.

In her summing-up, she reminds that “every challenge comes with an opportunity and we must be clever enough to deal with it in the right way”.

Advanced therapies are revolutionary, disruptive solutions: as a result of this, many problems still have to be solved, especially in fields where development is very fast, such as Green transition.

While introducing 2023 events about rare diseases (28 February) and industrial biotechnologies (in October), she expresses her personal wish: “I hope that we can find the way to constantly interact with the European regulators and institutions in order to let SMEs continue to grow ”.