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Europe’s brightest and best contend for EuropaBio’s Most Innovative SME Award, 2010


02 Dec 2010


Agriculture & Food

EuropaBio’s first ever Most Innovative European Biotech SME Award has attracted an outstanding array of applications from 32 companies across 12 countries representing all sectors of the biotech industry.

With such stiff competition, the panel of judges faced a tough task to identify the top five entries from which the overall winner will be announced at EuropaBio’s event on the Role of Biotechnology in Europe’s Responsible Innovation, in Brussels on 9 December.  The winning applicant will receive a prize of €10,000 as well as two year’s free membership of EuropaBio.

Commenting on the shortlisted applicants, Tom Saylor, Chair of EuropaBio’s SME Platform said: “The top five finalists are each, in their own way, aiming to help us to live longer, healthier and greener lives.  In creating this award we are seeking not only to raise awareness of the societal and environmental value of the work these enterprises are doing but also to reward the economic value brought by European Biotech SMEs who have developed sustainable business strategies, maximised the use of available funds for development and built and protected novel intellectual property”.

The finalists include Addex Pharmaceuticals, a company devoted to industrialising discovery and development of allosteric modulators as medicines to treat diseases of the central nervous system, inflammation and metabolic disorders; AMSilk, for creating a new class of biopolymers emulating the natural silk proteins produced by spiders on an industrial scale for many applications in fibres, coatings, and films for pharmaceutical, cosmetic, composite and technical textile applications; Keygene, for developing molecular breeding solutions to produce more efficient food, feed, fuel, fiber, flower and fun crops with a lower environmental footprint; Prosensa, focusing on the discovery, development and commercialisation of RNA (ribonucleic acid) modulating therapeutics targeting genetic disorders with a large unmet medical need, with a primary focus on neuromuscular and neurodegenerative life threatening disorders such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Myotonic Dystrophy, Huntington's disease and Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and TiGenix which exploits the power of Regenerative Medicine, using  proprietary cell and biomaterials platforms, to develop durable therapies for the repair of damaged or diseased skeletal tissues such as cartilage, meniscus, ligaments and bone. The aim is a full restoration of the biological and mechanical functions of these tissues to prevent further degeneration of the joint and to halt the onset and progression of osteoarthritis.

Andrea Rappagliosi, EuropaBio Chairman and chair of the judging panel commented: “Europe is home to some hugely talented scientists and researchers, but it takes real drive, passion and personal commitment to also overcome the obstacles and barriers facing SMEs and to translate these gifts into solutions that benefit patients, consumers, society and our environment as a whole.”


Rappagliosi underlined: “EuropaBio is committed to improving the economic and regulatory environment for Biotech SMEs. We will continue to strengthen our partnership with the European Commission to ensure that the EU Strategy for 2020 and the recently announced Innovation Union will boost the setting of a competitive environment where these highly innovative companies can flourish and contribute to a healthier and greener society in Europe.”

Other members of the judging panel included Professor Reinhilde Veugelers, Advisor to the European Commission and Professor at the Faculty of Economics and Business at KU Leuven (BE) and Dr Paul Rübig, Member of the European Parliament and President of SME Global.

The Award will be presented to the winning SME by Ms Paola Testori Coggi, Director General of DG Health and Consumer Policy at EuropaBio’s event on Innovation in Biotech on 9 December.  The event will be opened by an address from Commissioner John Dalli, will include a video address from President Barroso and will feature a set of select, high level presentations on innovation from across the sectors by industry leaders and civil society speakers.

Nathalie Moll, Secretary General of EuropaBio concluded: “There is now only one week to go until the overall winner of our Most Innovative European Biotech SME Award is revealed. It’s an exciting time and from what we have already seen Europe is right to have high hopes and also great expectations of these small but brilliant enterprises.”




Link to summaries of top 5 shortlisted SMEs

Link to list and description of SME Applicants 


For further information on the award or on The Role of Biotechnology in Europe’s Responsible Innovation Event on 9 December please contact:


Nathalie Moll

Secretary General, EuropaBio

Tel: +32 2 739 11 71; Email:


Joanna Dupont Inglis

Communications Manager, EuropaBio

Tel: +32 2 739 11 84; GSM: +32 476 60 71 35 Email:


EuropaBio is the European Association for Bioindustries, bringing together bioscience companies from all fields of research and development, testing, manufacturing and distribution of biotechnology products. It has 66 corporate and 7 associated members, 4 BioRegions and 22 National Biotechnology Associations representing some 1800 small and medium sized enterprises.