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Launch of FASILIS transnational cooperation forum

(Reutlingen) On Tuesday 23 March, the Tübingen-Reutlingen Technology Park (TTR) was the destination for entrepreneurs keen to find out more about the FASILIS EU project. This transnational pilot project helps small and medium-sized businesses benefit from the research, infrastructure and service portfolios of the participating European regions. The cooperation forum uses a voucher system to promote innovation and the establishment of new business relationships. In Germany, BioRegio STERN Management GmbH distributes these vouchers to companies in the life sciences sector in the STERN BioRegion.

Informative presentations about each of the six participating regions gave representatives of over 30 companies and research institutes an overview of the numerous opportunities open to them through the FASILIS EU project. By taking part in the pilot project, small and medium-sized businesses as well as scientific institutions have until 21 May 2010 to secure a voucher worth EUR 6,000. This voucher enables them to purchase services or commission research projects without using their own financial resources. A total of 82 vouchers are available, 15 of which will be allocated by BioRegio STERN Management GmbH based on an application process. An online catalogue details existing offers and lists the key interests of the individual companies and institutions. The contacts at FASILIS are, however, more than willing to consider new ideas. The system operates more or less as follows: Company A develops a new diagnostic system for the food industry that must be tested before it is approved. Using the FASILIS online catalogue, the company locates a facility specialising in this type of testing in the Eastern Netherlands partner region. Thanks to FASILIS, contact between them is established quickly and easily, and the diagnostic system is duly tested in the Netherlands. Instead of direct payment, a voucher is used to cover the service provided. If the cost of the service exceeds the voucher value of EUR 6,000, the company that commissioned the tests simply has to pay the difference.

One key criterion to note is that, in order to participate, companies in Germany must be based in the STERN BioRegion. Only companies or research facilities located in one of the six participating regions are eligible to make contact through this project. As with the selected clusters in Belgium, Denmark, the U.K. and the Netherlands, the STERN BioRegion contributes to the transnational networking of business interests and research. Funded by the EU financial instrument INTERREG IVB North-West Europe, FASILIS focuses on companies in the life sciences industry.

³Geographical borders shouldn't pose a barrier to sharing innovations and know-how,² says a statement by FASILIS contact Dr. Manfred Kauer of BioRegio STERN Management GmbH. ³This project gives small and medium-sized businesses in the STERN BioRegion free, easy access to high-quality international research and first-class facilities.² Alexander Schippers, representative of the Eastern Netherlands Health Valley, is equally convinced of the considerable benefits of the FASILIS project: ³Attempts to establish contact with companies in other countries often fail at the first hurdle, whether due to a lack of appropriate contacts, or to linguistic and cultural barriers. This is where FASILIS comes in, helping companies to establish and consolidate new business relationships.²

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About BioRegio STERN:
BioRegio STERN Management GmbH is a skill-sharing network, providing a help and advice centre for founders of new businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers in the biotechnology sector in the region comprising Stuttgart, Tübingen, Esslingen, Reutlingen and Neckar-Alb in Germany. BioRegio STERN promotes cooperation between such different disciplines as medicine, biochemical engineering, sensor technology, dietetics, biochemical analysis and bioinformatics. Key areas of focus are regenerative medicine and medical technology. BioRegio STERN represents the interests of founders of new businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers when dealing with the political sector, the media and associations, coordinates economic promotional activities and marketing and provides advice for grant applications and corporate financing, all backed up with efficient press and public relations work. BioRegio STERN is supported by the Stuttgart and Neckar-Alb regional authorities and the municipal authorities of Stuttgart, Tübingen, Esslingen and Reutlingen. The Managing Director, Dr. Klaus Eichenberg, is a molecular and cell biologist and investment analyst.

The FASILIS EU project promotes new business relationships between small and medium-sized businesses on the one hand, and research facilities on the other. It supports the awarding of new contracts in six different regions ­ Wallonia BioLiège (Belgium), Medical Valley in Øresund Region BioLogue (Denmark), BioRegion STERN Stuttgart (Germany), South East England Health Technology (U.K.), North-Brabant LifetecZone Cluster BOM (Netherlands) and Eastern Netherlands Health Valley OOST NV (Netherlands). The project focuses on the health sector and covers the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical technology and bioinformatics. The call for vouchers was opened on 10 March and will end on 21 May 2010. A total of 82 vouchers are available, each worth EUR 6,000. The contact in Germany is Dr. Manfred Kauer of BioRegio STERN Management GmbH. Contact: or tel. +49 711-870354-26.

Publisher Contact Information:

BioRegio STERN Management
+49 711-870354-26

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