Vaccines: Commission hosts first EU matchmaking event to mobilise Europe’s full potentialfor the production of COVID-19 vaccines
Today, the Commission is hosting the first pan-European matchmaking event with over 300participating companies from 25 Member States to expand COVID-19 vaccine production capacitiesacross Europe and address production and supply chain bottlenecks. The event aims to speed upconnections between vaccine producers and service companies such as contract development andmanufacturing organisations, fill and finish, equipment producers and others, with a view to improveplanning for current and future vaccine production in Europe. Executive Vice-President MargretheVestager said: “The number and variety of players attending the matchmaking event showcases theimportance of having a vibrant, competitive pharmaceutical industry in the EU. Cooperation tocombine complementary assets and increase vaccine capacity can be decisive in speeding up thevaccination of European citizens and overcoming the outbreak – for this reason, the Commission hasissued an antitrust comfort letter which facilitates matchmaking between companies while protectingfair competition.” Commissioner Thierry Breton, responsible for the Internal Market, said: “Theramp-up of vaccine production in Europe is unprecedented, both for our immediate and medium-term vaccination needs. We are working with industry to make better use of existing capacity andbuild new capability all around Europe. The matchmaking event is all about fostering newconnections and partnerships across the production and supply chain. I encourage the manycompanies involved in the vaccine manufacturing process to make the most of the matchmakingopportunities.” Organised online by the Commission’s Task Force for the Industrial Scale-up ofCOVID-19 vaccine production, the event is taking place on 29 and 31 March. The first day of theevent, opened by a keynote address by Commissioner Breton, is dedicated to matchmaking amongmanufacturing companies dealing with raw materials, manufacturing, coupling and formulation andfill and finish of vaccines. The event’s second day on Wednesday will focus on ensuring connectionswith potential suppliers from across the vaccine production value chain, including companiesinvolved in packaging, storage, shipment and distribution and production of accessories such assyringes and vials. In order to facilitate the matchmaking, the Commission has also issued a comfortletter providing guidance on how the matchmaking and exchanges between participating companies,including direct competitors, can take place in compliance with the EU competition rules. The comfortletter is based on the Antitrust Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 8 April 2020.The matchmaking event is organised by the European Cluster Collaboration Platform in partnershipwith the Council of European BioRegions (CEBR) and the European Cluster Alliance (ECA), which alsosupported the Commission in analysing and identifying EU capacities for COVID-19 vaccinesproduction, on the basis of which companies were invited to participate in the matchmaking.