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ASEBIO Negotiates Participation of 22 Countries in BIOLATAM

There are great opportunities for the creation of alliances between biotechs and companies from traditional sectors that are dependent on biotechnology. As such, 35% of Latin American companies are expecting to increase their investment in R&D over the next year, compared to 18% of European companies and 13% of US companies.

The Spanish Bioindustry Association (ASEBIO), in cooperation with Invest in Bogota (the investment promotion agency for the Colombian capital) are the two organisations driving BIOLATAM, which is currently negotiating the attendance of delegations from 22 Latin American countries, several European countries, and the US.

This event is the biggest in global biotechonology and will take place in Bogota on 9th and 10th December this year.

Among the speakers already confirmed for this event, we highlight the attendance of the following: Cristina Garmendia (Spain), former Minister for Science and Innovation; Hugo Villegas (Colombia), former Johnson & Johnson vipresident for Corporate Affairs in Latin America; Gabriela Couto (Costa Rica), biotechnology and biodiversity expert; Carlos Moro (Spain), president of the Grupo Matarromera; Daniel Ramón (Spain), managing director at Biópolis; Consuelo Valverde (US), founder of the California based fund ZFunction, for technological seed capital; Al Costa (Brazil), general director of Alkol Bioenergy, and many others.

ASEBIO is currently working towards mobilising the delegations of the following countries: Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, the US, Canada, Israel, France, Portugal, the UK and Germany.

We have also outlined a preview of the programme, for which we have confirmed 13 sessions so far:

Session 1: Towards a Sustainable Bioeconomy for Latin America

  • Bioeconomy Strategy of the European Union: Opportunities for Latin America in the framework of Horizon 2020. What is there for Latin America?
  • Market trends in Biofuels
  • Bioplastics: Opportunities in a growing market

Session 2: Personalised Medicine Based on Biomarkers Against Cancer

  • Assessment of the results of the study "Cancer Control Planning in Latin America and the Caribbean" published by Lancet Oncology
  • Population screening strategies
  • Early and cost effective diagnostic 6 pronostic systems

Session 3: Bioprospecting and Biodiversity

  • Regulatory status
  • Opportunities in marine and terrestrial prospection
  • Success stories in the sustainable management of biodiversity

Session 4: Advanced Therapies

  • The role of organ donation and transplantation systems in the light of the challenge presented by regenerative medicine
  • Map of scientific excellence in Latin America
  • Opportunities in the field of private health providers

Session 5: Good Market Access Practices in LATAM

  • The regulatory diversity in LATAM
  • The critical role of distributors
  • Success stories

Session 6: Food Biotechnology, the Big Bet

  • Tools for quality control and traceability
  • Latest developments in fermentation & probiotics
  • Functional ingredients and nutrigenomics

Session 7: The Impact of Biotechnology in Animal Health

  • New vaccines
  • Diagnostic Systems
  • Functional animal feed

Session 8: Biotechnology for Cosmetics

  • Strategies for finding new natural extracts
  • In vitro assay technologies
  • Nanotech solutions

Session 9: Venture Capital Forum

  • Success stories in public-private funding
  • Opportunities for cross participation between Europe, USA and LATAM
  • How to attract private wealth and business angels to the biotech industry

Session 10: Biosimilars

  • Regulatory environment
  • Experiences in manufacturing
  • Situation and outlook in Latin America

Session 11: Biotechnology for Aquaculture

  • Vaccines
  • Genomic technology applied to the sector
  • New sources of supply

Session 12: Agrobiotechnology

  • Situation in Europe and in the U.S.A
  • Is there room for Biotech SMEs?
  • Crops of interest in Latin America

Session 13: Biotech Cluster Policies in Latin America

  • The role of industry associations
  • Bioparks and bioincubators
  • International networks

According to Jorge Barrero, deputy chairman of ASEBIO, "Latin America offers a great opportunity for innovation providers in many industries, as it does for biotechnology companies, which are the natural partners for companies across a wide range of sectors: pharma, food, cosmetics, veterinary services and energy, among others. In fact, according to data in the Global Economy in 2013 report by Grant Thornton, 35% of Latin American companies plan to increase investment in R&D next year, putting them ahead of European companies (18%), US companies (13%) and the global average (23%)."

With regards to Colombia, over the last decade the main focus has been on improving the business environment. As a result, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country has shot up. Bogota is one of the main business centres in Latin America, along with Sao Paulo, Miami, Santiago, Mexico City and Buenos Aires. According to the latest annual rankings from América Economía (2011), Bogota is eighth on the list of the most business-friendly cities in Latin America.

In the opinion of Juan Gabriel Pérez, Executive Director of Invest in Bogota, "Bogota is among the 15 best cities in the world to do business, according to Fortune Magazine. It also represents 25% of the country’s GDP, having over 7 million inhabitants and a per capita income of over 11,000 US dollars. One of the most important factors for biotechnology is its highly qualified professionals, with 119 higher education institutions and 100,000 graduates, of which 30,000 are postgraduates, making up 30% of PhD holders in the country."

PR2

Contact information:
Lucía Cecilia

Head of Communications at BIOLATAM and ASEBIO
Phone. + 34 91 210 9374
Fax. +34 91 2500063
Email: lcecilia@asebio.com

Carolina Hernández
Marketing and Communications Officer at Invest in Bogota
Telephone. +57 1 7423030
Email: chernandez@investinbogota.org