The fact that this high-profile event will be held in the Austrian capital stems from an initiative by LISAvienna. This is the joint life science platform operated by Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH (aws) and the Vienna Business Agency. On behalf of the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy and the city of Vienna, it contributes to the advancement of life sciences in Vienna.
"BioEquity Europe is a kind of Eurovision Song Contest for the biotechnology industry. As the host country, Austria does not have a musical group competing, but instead it has nominated innovative high technology companies with enormous growth potential. The jury is composed of the most important European investors and instead of points there are rounds of financing”, says Harald Mahrer, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy. More than 10 Austrian companies can present themselves. This is a great privilege, because otherwise the event is designed so that only those companies selected out of a large number of applications by an independent board are presented before the international investors. In addition to the private equity industry, business developers from the major pharmaceutical companies are also present and on the lookout for projects for licensing deals.
Vienna offers ideal conditions for biotechnology companies. "Vienna is a popular research and innovation center in Europe and is particularly appealing due to its excellent combination of academic and entrepreneurial research. The city of Vienna is dedicated to providing targeted funding and support to companies in Vienna which enables them to carry out research and development at the highest scientific level," says Renate Brauner, Vice Mayor and Councilor for Finance and Economics of the city of Vienna.
aws and Vienna Business Agency provide support right from the company's foundation up to its international success
aws Managing Directors Edeltraud Stiftinger and Bernhard Sagmeister affirm: "With our tailor-made funding instruments, we make innovative ideas ready for the international stage. We bring together local businesses, development partners and investors from around the world. That is precisely what we do on the spot during events such as BioEquity Europe and continuously via Equity Finder, our online mediation platform". The founding potential as well as the later financial requirements in life sciences are vast. These achievements are only possible with consistent support. Commissioned by the Ministry of Economy, the promotional bank Austria Wirtschaftsservice (aws) backs life science start-ups with customized programs. With aws LISA - Life Science Austria, aws offers life science start-ups a one-stop-shop support program, which is funded by the Ministry of Economy. The financial incentives are accompanied by advisory measures, training and internationalization actions in order to guide start-ups to economic independence as early as possible. aws PreSeed and aws Seedfinancing are amongst the most important founding grants for the life science industry in Austria. With aws PreSeed, the phase prior to establishment is supported by a non-repayable grant of 200,000 Euros. aws Seedfinancing in turn finances the initial phase of life science start-ups with a conditional, repayable grant of up to 800,000 Euros.
The companies also receive support from the Vienna Business Agency. In addition to grants, infrastructure and individual advice, it undertakes specific measures and activities to support and help push ahead the networking and cooperation of companies, research institutions and centers of excellence in Vienna. In cooperation with private partners, the Vienna Business Agency has in recent years developed numerous special properties for technology companies. Campus Vienna Biocenter 2 and 3, Media Quarter 2 and 3, Energybase and Technologiezentrum aspern IQ are a few examples.
BioEquity and current Viennese life sciences successes as investor magnets
Gerhard Hirczi, Managing Director of the Vienna Business Agency, on success stories in the life sciences: "The city of Vienna and the Vienna Business Agency are committed to supporting this innovative industry and providing targeted funding, individual advice and high-quality research infrastructure. Recent success stories such as Horizon Genomics, Nabriva or Themis Bioscience prove once again that this is the direction in which to go and, like BioEquity, act as magnets for the attention of international investors and companies." With its dedication to the life science sector, Vienna secures and promotes over 35,000 attractive jobs at around 400 life science companies and research institutions. Annual sales of the Vienna-based companies amount to more than 9 billion Euros.
About Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH (aws)
Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH (aws) is Austria's government promotional bank. As a specialist bank under public ownership it is geared towards corporate finance with a focus on "start-ups" and "growth and industry". By providing low-interest loans, guarantees, subsidies and equity capital, it supports companies with the implementation of their innovative projects, especially when the necessary funds cannot be adequately raised through other means. Specific information, advice and services are also offered to prospective, existing and expanding companies. On behalf of BMWFW, aws also offers technology-orientated small and medium-sized businesses a wide range of services related to the patenting and licensing of technological developments. Support and guidance play particularly important roles in this. Specific research, collaborative development of mechanisms for protecting property rights, licensing and the use of technology round off the broad range of activities.