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Call for Applications for the Most Innovative European Biotech SME Awards 2018

Brussels, 11 July 2018: EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries, invites biotech start-ups and small and medium sized biotech companies (SMEs) across Europe to apply for the ninth edition of the Most Innovative European Biotech SME Award – a unique annual initiative recognising biotech innovation and its contribution to society. Depending on their field of activity, SMEs can apply in three categories: healthcare, agricultural or industrial biotech. Biotech start-ups will compete across all sectors in one special category recognising early stage entrepreneurship. Applications must be submitted online at by COB Sunday 30 September 2018. Two companies will be shortlisted in each category by a Jury of biotech and SME experts, with the winners celebrated during a landmark event held later in the year. Each winner will also receive prize money and two years free EuropaBio membership (runners-up also receive the latter).

Recognising SME biotech innovation in Europe

According to the European Commission, “small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Europe’s economy. They represent 90% of all businesses in the EU. In the past five years, they have created around 85% of new jobs and provided two-thirds of the total private sector employment in the EU.” In other words, SMEs matter and the leaders in innovation should be recognised and rewarded.

Biotech exemplifies the way in which science and scientific breakthroughs can be applied to respond to current problems. From new therapies that can address unmet medical needs and fight epidemics and rare diseases, to industrial processes that use renewable feedstocks instead of crude oil, to drought-resistant crops that allow farmers around the world to feed more people under unpredictable climatic conditions, biotechnology pays economic, social and environmental dividends.

These awards have become one of the highlights in the European biotech calendar, with over 200 SMEs competing over the years. Their success stories can be read online at

The jury

The experts who are part of the jury are involved in biotech and understand the science, the funding realities and the regulatory and political frameworks in which European biotech SMEs operate. They appreciate the contribution that innovative SMEs will make to Europe’s future, and together, they will carefully analyse each application to select the final nominees.

  • Peter Heinrich: Chairman of German national biotech association BIO Deutschland and Managing Director of Sinfonie Life Science Management GmbH, Planegg.
  • MEP Dr. Paul Ruebig: Austrian Member of the European Parliament (EP) since 1996 (EPP Group), Full Member of the EP Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the Committee on Budgets, President of SME Global, Co-Chairman of the EPP medium-sized businesses in the Steering Committee on the WTO.
  • Dame Anne Glover: Scottish biologist, Vice Principal for External Affairs and Dean for Europe at the University of Aberdeen, former Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission (2012-2014).
  • John Brennan: Secretary General of EuropaBio with over 25 years’ experience both on the regulatory and the industrial sides of the healthcare industry.

Criteria for entry

In order to be considered for the EuropaBio SME awards a company must qualify as an SME under the standard EU SME definition (e.g. primary location of operations within Europe, 250 or less employees, €50 Million or less annual turnover).

Deadline for applications

SMEs interested to enter the competition are invited to apply by 30 September on the awards website.