The Bionnale 2015, a major networking event for biotech in Berlin, is taking place today. Talks about Berlin’s cluster gave me a good insight on what’s happening here. Don’t expect Berlin to be a groundbreaking place like Boston or San Diego. The German capital has more conventional assets, but they’re definitely building a solid ecosystem.
With more than 4,000 people working in 230 biotechnology companies, Berlin-Brandenburg, Germany’s capital region, is already a European hotspot for life sciences. According to Matthias Gottwald, Head R&D Policy and Networking at Bayer, Berlin has a “gapless value chain for biotech”. I think he knows what he’s talking about, as Bayer is strongly settled in Berlin. For him, Berlin and its region hold a strong pharmaceutical industry – 28 actors – completed by key players in manufacturing of biologicals like ProBioGen or InVivo. The capital also possesses an important network of Contract Research Organizations, giving work to 15% of the Biotech employees based here.