05.03.2012Who will win EuropaBio’s 3rd Most Innovative European SME of the year Award?
EuropaBio has announced the launch of its 3rd annual Most Innovative European Biotech SME Award and invites applications for the 2012 competition. The award aims to reward SMEs which are operating in all applications of biotechnology, from agriculture to industrial and healthcare, and which are making a significant contribution to providing innovative solutions to the grand challenges of our time as outlined in EU Commission President Barroso’s Europe 2020 Strategy.

With a cash prize of €10,000 and two years’ free membership of EuropaBio, as well as the proven exposure to EU media and high-level policy makers and potential for companies to build a public profile, the award is expected to once again attract a vast amount of innovative applications from right across the EU Member States.

This year’s expert judging panel will include Steven G. Burrill, Founder and CEO of Burrill & Company -who will also deliver a much anticipated key note address- Dr. Philippe De Backer, MEP; Tom Saylor, CEO of SME Arecor and Chairman of EuropaBio’s SME Platform and Nathalie Moll, Secretary General of EuropaBio.

Last year’s competition attracted applications from across 14 Member States from SMEs working in all areas of biotechnology. With four outstanding runners up- AiCuris GmbH & CO., Biocentras, Cardio3 BioSciences and to-BBB - who all showcased their innovative applications during the award ceremony- Prosensa Therapeutics was eventually awarded the top prize for their efforts in developing a treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). DMD is an inherited, lethal childhood rare disease which is highly debilitating and gradually weakens muscles to the effect that an affected child is often left wheelchair bound by the age of 12, with a mean life expectancy of just
25-30 years of age. Currently, there is no effective treatment for DMD. However, Prosensa has one of the world’s most advanced programmes to develop an innovative pipeline of products to treat DMD and its lead product is already in phase III clinical trials.

Commenting on the launch of this year’s award, Tom Saylor, Chairman of the EuropaBio SME
Platform remarked: “EuropaBio's Most Innovative Biotech SME Award provides the opportunity to raise the profile of leading biotech SMEs and the importance of the biotech industry generally to Europe. Biotech SME's not only play an essential role as the foundation of key knowledge-based industries but are pivotal to boosting economic growth and creating jobs right across Europe. It is essential that Europe remains a centre of excellence for commercialisation of its extraordinary science base and that EU policy reflects the importance of SMEs in achieving this objective. EuropaBio's Most Innovative Biotech SME Award is an important mean