• 10 September 2009
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“Our aim is to foster new business via collaboration”

“Our aim is to foster new business via collaboration”

—Dr Albrecht Läufer, CEO, Corvay GmbH, Germany

As a part of the initiative of Germany´s Federal Ministry of Education and Research to internationally market German research competence, a group of delegates were present at the recently concluded Bangalore BIO 2009, India’s largest biotechnology business conference. On the sidelines of the three-day long event, Dr Albrecht Läufer, CEO of Corvay GmbH, a German life sciences consultancy and management services company, who also represented BioRegioN, a German state Niedersachsen’s life science initiative, at Bangalore BIO 2009. Excerpts from the intervie

Would you tell us more about Corvay and the services offered by it?
Corvay provides expert consultancy and management services in life sciences, to customers in Germany and other countries, with a special focus on the Middle East and Asian countries, viz; India, China, Indonesia, Japan and  Singapore. The company offers services like developing business strategies and writing business plans for start-up companies and interim management.
Corvay also acts as the management office of the ‘Life Science Network Niedersachsen – BioRegioN’, on behalf of the Ministry of Economics, Labor and Transport of Germany´s state of Niedersachsen.

What were your expectations from Bangalore BIO 2009? What does BioRegioN has on offer? 
At Bangalore BIO 2009, our aim was to exhibit the research potential and market the life sciences sector of Niedersachsen. I was campaigning for BioRegioN that offers a platform for networking for all the partners of ‘Life Science Niedersachsen goes India’ initiative. We established very good contacts with several Indian life sciences leaders, scientists and with people interested in project management for the commercialization of their products.
BioRegioN is a very strong biotechnology cluster linking 150 small and medium size enterprises, large companies, 20 universities and academic research institutions. The purpose is to foster innovation and new business through collaboration. Recently, under the umbrella of the research marketing campaign of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Science and Education, BioRegioN has presented its innovative strengths in all fields of biotechnology. In India, more attention is given to infection research, bio-IT,  plant biotechnology, bioenergy and waste management. We are coordinating talks between Indian partners and members of BioRegioN, which we expect to result in collaboration contracts. We are also organizing an Indo-German conference, BioTechnica, Europe’s largest biotech event on October 7-8, 2009, in Hannover, Germany.  As part of the conference, Indian companies will get a chance to visit biotechnology firms and institutions in Germany.

What are the primary aims of the ‘Life Science Niedersachsen goes India’ initiative?
The campaign seeks to establish R&D cooperations between life science institutes and companies in India in the fields of diagnostics for cancer, arteriosclerosis and infectious diseases, protein research, biological databases, knowledge tools and softwares. Furthermore, the exchange of qualified employees and scientists between India and Niedersachsen shall be encouraged with their participation in infection research programs and resources management programs.

How encouraging is the regulatory environment in Asia and the Middle East?
Regulatory systems are different and complex in each country. Authorities in Asia have little experience with new substances and rely very much on licenses under the US or European drug administrations. Biotechnology is gaining importance in many Asian and Middle East countries, new products will be introduced as a result and there is a need for proper regulatory attention and proper IP protection as well.

What are Corvay’s business initiatives in India?
Our company is active in India since several years, and I’m impressed by the growth in the biotech sector. Many experienced NRI scientists and businessmen who are returning to India are investing in the country. Also, Indian pharmaceutical and vaccine companies are venturing into biotechnology, so I see India on the right track to become a powerhouse in biotechnology. Medical need and the purchasing power in India are increasing. Indian market is very well connected with other Asian markets such as Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and China. So, I feel India is certainly a good and safe place to set your shop. 

Ajeesh Anand

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