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European Biotech SME/Regions Partnering, Promotion and Networking in China

Final Report Summary - EFBIC YELLOW (European Biotech SME/Regions Partnering, Promotion and Networking in China)

The EFBIC YELLOW project was meant as a pilot project between Europe and China with the aim to promote partnership, joint ventures and collaboration between European biotech small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), European regional / agencies and the Chinese biotech community. The objectives were to:
- inform, educate and facilitate European SMEs to develop partnering collaborations with emerging Chinese pharmaceuticals corporations;
- provide regional and local European agencies with unique and practical access to promising partners in the Chinese market;
- promote and disseminate the distinctive competencies and innovations of the European biotech to key stakeholders in the now sizeable Chinese biotech market.

The EFBIC YELLOW project comprised of two partnering events in China and two information sessions in Europe, web dissemination tools and an extensive networking and liaison initiatives in both Europe and China.

Based on all four events the questionnaire-based surveying resulted in the following important findings. In general, the participants were very satisfied with the content of the information and partnering events. Especially the roundtable sessions were evaluated well for their content, discussions and networking possibilities. Among the general aspects it was noticed that management and logistics on-site as well as overall were evaluated very high and of good quality. Very noticeable was also that quality of networking and relevance to the participants business were evaluated high. Most of the participants that answered the questionnaires were bio-entrepreneurs, but also European organisations and agencies from the target groups were among.

The advisory board including partner representatives functioned very well throughout the project. Many of the board members were very active and participated with eager and enthusiasm in the information and partnering events. Many gave speeches, others acted as moderators at round table discussions. Many board members were also hard-working with one-to-one meetings showing successfully the Chinese how to use this networking tool as part of building business. The value of having an advisory board has been very high and truly a main part of the success. The advisory board members and partners of the EFBIC YELLOW have expressed that they are very interested in taking part in new future EC initiatives in China.

The business strategy of EFBIC YELLOW was to benefit from the consortium experience to exploit the project results and ensure its continuation after the 21 months. The strategy was to generate enough interest and momentum over the period to gradually expand the initiatives and allow for the creation of a similar self-sustaining programme. This would be done by gradually introducing external sponsors to the project such as European regional agencies would be solicited to sponsor the project and related events and publication, initially at a low fee. The idea was as the project progressed and the benefits of partnering for European SME's became more tangible, sponsorships would adopt a more central role in the project.

Actually, some of the partners are working on different scenarios and might succeed with the initiative. One of the recommendations is also to issue an internal document on cultural differences as basis of an overall navigation map. As part of the events we had sessions on dos and donts as a sort of guidance for networking and doing business in China.

In general the partners and the advisory board have been satisfied with the project. The project achieved what they set out for and met the predefined objectives. The collaboration with EC officers has been satisfactory.

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