10 Years Jubilee 2009
BioPark Regensburg celebrates 10 year Company Jubilee
BioRegio Regensburg is growing and thriving. With the foundation of BioPark Regensburg GmbH ten years ago, the success story for the biotechnology field in the region of East Bavaria was initially ignited. The region consisted of 23 companies with 400 employees in 1999, today there are around 40 enterprises employing 2586 people – a good six times more than ten years ago. It has developed into the second largest competency network following Munich in the state.
On Friday 3 July the BioPark celebrated its jubilee with 200 guests in the Atrium in BioPark II. In his keynote speech the Lord Mayor Hans Schaidinger outlined the start of the idea in the year 1996 with Germany’s Bioregion Initiative. In fact at that time Regensburg was not amongst the winners of the competition, however the city and the region fully recognised in the spirit of this initiative their own strengths and opportunities. Finally from this grew the idea of the BioPark in Regensburg, which today has become an important source of impulse and employment for the city and the region.
Prof. Thomas Strothotte, Rector of the University of Regensburg, characterised the effective synergies between the tertiary education institutions and the BioPark on the University campus. Through these synergies Regensburg as a base has been able to sharpen its profile, which has been clearly demonstrated recently by the Fraunhofer Institution with its research group on tumour and metabolic disease.
The Bavarian Minister for Federal and European Affairs Ms Emilia Müller showed herself to be impressed by the success of the BioPark and its companies in her address at the celebration. The BioPark was expanded with the aid of the High-Tech Offensive of the State of Bavaria. By 2011 a total of 38 million € will be invested in all three buildings, of which alone 21 million € come from funding from the State of Bavaria. Minister Müller sees the money as well invested; the BioPark shines like a lighthouse throughout the region.
A current study by Capgemini Consulting demonstrates most impressively successful development in the last 10 years. In 1999 the region consisted of 23 companies in the field of “life sciences” with ca. 400 employees. Today there are 40 companies with 2,586 employees, so a good six times more than 10 years ago. In the field of biotechnology the region is the second largest competency network in Bavaria following Munich. This was confirmed through successful competition in the federal initiative Kompetenznetze Deutschland (Competency Networks Germany). Furthermore the BioPark was awarded Landmark of the Federal Initiative “Germany – Land of Ideas”. Above and beyond this, in the last 10 years BioPark GmbH has been able to obtain 24.5 mill. € in promotional funding from Germany. In the same time period following the study a total of 216 mill. € was invested in the biotech companies of the region, of this 101.6 million € alone in venture capital.
According to Managing Director Dr. Thomas Diefenthal the BioPark has matured in the course of the years in 3 phases from a pure biotech cluster to a location for interdisciplinary development. Highlights of the foundation phase from 1999 to 2001 were the locating of Antisense Pharma and of the American company Tularik (today Amgen) as well as the inauguration of BioPark I in 2001. The growth phase from 2002 to 2006 was distinguished by strong expansion: exemplary companies such as Antisense, Tularik and Geneart increased their staff, companies from the expanded fields of the life sciences such as medical technology and analysis were new additions; finally in 2006 BioPark II was completed, which was already completely occupied at the inauguration. The continual consolidation phase is evidenced by the further growth of outriders. There have admittedly also been insolvencies. In total BioPark GmbH has accompanied 33 foundations since this point.
Dieter Daminger, Advisor for Business and Finance of the City of Regensburg and in additional office as CFO of BioPark Regensburg GmbH sees biotechnology as an important leg to stand on for the city and the region. To participate in the anticipated boom, the city put itself on the right tracks more than ten years ago, and that is paying off today according to Daminger. The field has developed itself into job motor in the region. That Regensburg is taking the direction of new forward-looking technologies can be seen in other initiatives, such as the strategic partnership of sensor technology or in the IT security cluster.
The lead business editor of the Mittelbayerischen Zeitung states the essence of the matter: diversification is the essential factor of a healthy business location. Monostructures, as perhaps a too strong dependency on the automobile industry, can – as currently – in times of crisis have a negative effect on a region. According to Hochreiter also in the political realm there has long been a backing away from central strategy and the development of megaclusters, and rediscovery of the regions has occurred. So Regensburg presents itself as an attractive small, but fine location, where companies not only value short routes within their infrastructure, but also well educated and trained staff.
The first spade cut for the third construction phase, which should be completed in 2011, is to take place on 15. September. However Dr. Thomas Diefenthal is already looking beyond this time. Biotechnology is one of the boom technologies of the future. If Regensburg wishes to continue to be successful in this field, the BioPark is posing this question today: What will follow BioPark III? Various possibilities are being discussed such as strategic partnership, a technology park or a BioPark IV.