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Partnering, Business Development & Licensing

Biotech is Booming in Basel at BIO-Europe Spring 2023!

Posted by on 10 February 2023
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BIO-Europe Spring®, March 20–22, 2023, in Basel Switzerland, will be the first in-person edition since the wonderful Vienna event in 2019. The pharma and biotech industry is an innovative powerhouse at the core of the local economy in Basel. There, you should feel right at home alongside hundreds of start-ups, and rapidly growing biotech, medtech, digital health, and pharma companies that collectively form Europe’s richest life sciences ecosystem. Basel is full of international talent seeking to make a positive and sustainable difference in healthcare. For the first time, this event will have two large pharma companies, Novartis and Roche, acting as regional hosts along with Basel Area Business & Innovation, Swiss Biotech and Switzerland Global Enterprise as the Regional Host Delegation. Registration information is available at 

Join us in Basel, where biotech is booming! Beautiful Basel has a remarkable heritage in biotech even before this word existed - our current life sciences industry evolved from the  early days of the textile and chemistry industries back in the 19th century. The colours blue and purple have historically been precious in textile dyeing, as they have been tricky to create. In the past, the glands of certain sea snails were used to make a vivid purple, used as a royal colour for cloths. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the logos of so many Basel-based pharmaceutical and biotech companies feature these glorious regal colours? Check those out in this colourful graphic from local life sciences accelerator BaseLaunch.  Europe’s largest biotech accelerator has supported over 20 ventures, with a range of its portfolio companies having raised over $450 million in financing from European and US Venture funds.

Basel is located right next to France and Germany. Near this border triangle is the Novartis Campus, a place for new ideas and perspectives in the field of life sciences which recently opened its doors to the public. The newest building of the Campus is the inspiring Novartis Pavillon, a place that explores the big questions around healthcare and houses the public exhibition ‘Wonders of Medicine’. The Novartis Campus recently opened its “Building 210” to tenants offering a modern workspace for companies looking to locate in Basel.

Over many decades, together with Roche, Novartis has provided a substantial contribution to the inspiring ‘campus-feeling’ that runs right through the Basel biotech ecosystem. It’s not just about doing great science but feeling great doing great science too.

Roche, like Novartis, is strongly focused on great science. Both work at the heart of the world-class medical innovations taking place across Basel’s extensive life sciences community. In 2021, Roche launched the Institute for Translational Bioengineering (ITB), an independent institute within the Roche Group. The ITB’s aim is to bridge academic and pharmaceutical research to bring the best scientists of both worlds together to lead the broad adoption of organoids in pharmaceutical R&D and clinical practice. Building on its significant HQ presence besides the Rhine, Roche will be opening, in 2024, the brand-new Roche Innovation Center Basel. This will bring the company’s local research community under one state-of-the-art roof.

A major reason the area has rapidly grown is the proximity of many outstanding places to do science: there are 14 advanced research institutes and several technology parks. Radiating out from the Rhine, like an inspiring spiral shell, these include architectural gems such as the 50,000 m2 Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area which as well as providing top-quality lab space and light-flooded working environments, also has a specialisation in digital health. Delegates are invited to visit Park Basel Area on one of the Site Tours leading up to BIO-Europe Spring and can have the chance to be invited to one of several Home Dinners.  For more information about how Europe is riding the crest of a digital wave transforming healthcare, see this article from BIO-Europe Spring 2022.

Building world-class biotech requires solid and sustained investment. Business-friendly Switzerland has correspondingly strong availability of venture capital from top-tier investors including the Novartis Venture Fund and the Roche Venture Fund, as well as an active and highly experienced business angel community.

Whether you’re interested in the biotech value chain, R&D, or clinical trials, manufacturing or commercialisation, or a service provider or supplier, there’s a part of the thriving ecosystem that should be perfect for you. If you want Basel to become your new biotech home, connect with Basel Area Business & Innovation, an independent, non-profit agency, who also run BaseLaunch. And if you like snails, did you know that their mucuses are increasingly being applied as skin care products? There’s a Swiss skin-care product that uses biotech to recreate active skincare ingredients that are bio-identical to snail mucin, producing a Swiss biotech anti-aging solution.

Make sure to register for BIO-Europe Spring. Once registered, you can fire up your PartneringONE® account, giving you access to over two thousand delegates from the global biopharma community. Be sure to also check out this article to make the most of partneringONE® and your BIO-Europe Spring experience in Basel.

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