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03: The myths of life sciences and their consequences

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Hauptschule
Breakout / Working Group
english language

Especially in the Life Sciences perception – not only from a less technophile public, but from decision-makers as well – differs greatly from the current opportunities and facts. The workshop shall – by means of concrete examples – identify fundamental discrepancies between facts and fiction, unmask myths but also confirm clichés where appropriate and discuss possibilities to overcome the respective barriers

Speakers

Professor of Virology and Head, Institute of Virology, University of Veterinary Sciences, Vienna Abstract
Using three examples of novel technologies in the biotech sector, we will examine the current Austrian funding mechanisms and their effect on the success of development of tomorrow's medical breakthroughs. In comparison, we will evaluate one example of a successful fee for service biotech company.
Austria has developed a good, and discriminating but risk-averse, system for funding early stage high tech developments. However, in comparison to other parts of Europe and to the US, there is no culture of later risk investment in place for areas such a biotechnology that has a very long investment horizon. Although there has been one great biotech success story in Austria, this was primarily supported by German, U.K. and U.S. investors in critical financing rounds. In contrast, a number of other companies have failed primarily through having to depend entirely on foreign investors at later stages. This trend may severely limit Austria's growth potential in the area of biotech and medical discovery, whilst at the same time, resulting in technologies that have been internationally recognized as being of merit and that have been nurtured and financed in their early stages in Austria to be further developed in other countries.
We will examine three technologies developed using three different financing vehicles (i) a start up company working in high risk biotechnology and financed initially by public grant support and angel investment that was unable to secure further financing allowing it to be bought out into foreign ownership (ii) a Christian-Doppler laboratory that developed novel ground breaking technologies in biotechnology and had become a centre of excellence in retroviral research in Austria but whose industrial partner was unable to continue its support - new partners from the US now are about to take over these technologies and commercialize them there (iii) a novel technology platform where a nascent Austrian company had the worldwide IP rights but was unable to secure even start-up funds in Austria because of perceived high risk and thus lost its rights to the IP - an American company is now commercializing the technology.
In contrast one example of a successful Austrian company will be brought - that is low risk and fee for service orientated.
We will examine whether the current risk averseness in Austria, both in the governmental grant funding sector and then, more importantly, later in the investor sector is effecting Austria's ability to become an important player on the world biotech stage and causing a drain of expertise and of technology abroad.
Co-Founder and Director, Critical I Limited, Banbury
Deputy Director, LIFE - Centre for Climate, Energy & Society, JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, Graz Abstract
The main challenge for the global energy economy at the beginning of the 21th
century is the development of a sustainable transportation energy system by
pursuing the following goals:
- Increasing public transport thus reducing the use of private cars
- Increasing energy efficiency thus reducing vehicle fuel consumption per
distance travelled
- Use of renewable energy (e.g. biofuels)
- Reducing air pollution in cities through "zero emission vehicles"
- Increasing security of supply through enhanced use of domestic energy
sources.
The main result of this would be the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions which is
of particular importance since the transportation sector contributes worldwide about
17% (in Austria about 25%) of the greenhouse gas emissions, with a steady increase
during the last decades in the industrialized world.
Using biomass e.g. wood for heating and production of electricity has a long tradition
and the current use of biomass contributes about 11 % to the current world wide
energy demand and is besides hydro power the most important renewable energy
source today [IEA Bioenergy 2005]. About 80% of the global energy demand is
based on fossil fuels - coal, oil and natural gas. In the last 30 years new high
efficiency and low emission technologies were developed to use biomass for heat
and electricity production, which are now implemented step by step.
In the transportation sector biodiesel produced from oils and fats and bioethanol
produced from sugar and starch (1st generation biofuels) are now implemented in the
European Union driven by the Biofuels Directive to reach the targeted share of 5.75%
biofuels in the European transportation sector by 2010. New biofuels made from
lignocellulosic raw material like wood and straw are under development: synthetic
biofuels (e.g. Fischer-Tropsch-Diesel via gasification and synthesis) and bioethanol
via hydrolysis of cellulose and fermentation. The current critical debate relates to 1st
generation biofuels, as their feedstock competes with the food and feed market and
their potential is limited.
So what are the requirements for sustainable biofuels? - Avoid fossil fuels, use
renewable energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase biodiversity, create
jobs, drive technological development, increase socio-economic benefits, and use
locally available resources? These requirements will be presented and discussed
based on examples of the Austrian biofuel production.
Partner, LSP - Life Sciences Partners, Munich Abstract
Ein Mythos ist eine oft ideologisierte Erzählung von Ereignissen, die von konkreten Inhalten unabhängig ist. Der Anfangsmythos der Life Sciences und der entsprechenden Forschungen ist hierbei durchweg positiv belegt: Für große Bevölkerungsschichten führten die Ergebnisse der frühen Life Science Forschung zu einer beträchtlichen Erhöhung der Lebensqualität sowie der Lebensspanne. Hierbei seien exemplarisch nur die Ergebnisse von Robert Koch und Alexander Flemming auf dem Gebiet der Infektionsforschung genannt, die in der Bekämpfung von Bakterien neue Methoden und Substanzen (Antibiotika) einführten, die millionenfach Leben retteten. Ähnliches gilt für die Entwicklung weiterer hocheffektiver Diagnostika und Therapeutika. Eine neue Epoche in der Arzneimittelentwicklung wurde Mitte der siebziger Jahre mit der modernen und systematischen Molekularbiologie eingeläutet, die spätestens seit Mitte der achtziger Jahre als Bio- und Gentechnologie durch zahlreiche Diskussionen geistert. Allerdings sind die Berichte, die sich gerade im deutschsprachigen Raum seitdem extrem kritisch um den Bereich Bio- und Gentechnologie entwickeln, meist keine Mythen, sondern extrem ideologisierte Spekulationen, da zugrunde liegende Ereignisse sowie auch nur generelle Inhalte fehlen. Vielmehr werden Ängste und Risiken hinaufbeschworen, die sich bisher nirgends auch nur annährend bewahrheitet haben und die in keiner Relation zu sonst täglich auftretenden Lebensrisiken stehen. Gleichzeitig werden durch dieses Bedenkenträgertum und Angsthäscherei neue Chancen und Wege in der Krankheitsbekämpfung sowie ein beträchtliches wirtschaftliches Wachstum verhindert, da nicht mehr die konkreten Vorteile neuer Therapieansätze oder gentechnologischer Methoden Gegenstand der Diskussion sind. Durch diese oftmals sehr ideologisierten Diskussionen hat sich das Bild der Life Sciences im deutschsprachigen Raum von einem sehr positiven zu einem eher negativen gewandelt, mit Auswirkungen auf die Anzahl der Studierenden, die Anzahl und Leistungsfähigkeit von Life Science Unternehmen, aber auch auf die Einführung neuer und besserer Arznei- oder Lebensmittel.
In den achtziger Jahren fanden in Deutschland zahlreiche Diskussionen und Gerichtsprozesse über die Gefahren des mit Hilfe gentechnisch veränderter E.coli Bakterien hergestellten humanen Insulins statt mit der Folge, dass die weltweit modernste Herstellungsanlage für gentechnisch produziertes humanes Insulin zehn Jahre stillstand (Hoechst AG). In der Zwischenzeit wurde humanes Insulin gentechnisch in anderen Ländern produziert. Das Ergebnis 20 Jahre später ist bekannt: Es gibt nur noch gentechnisch hergestelltes, humanes Insulin auf dem Markt, das dem früher benutzen Schweineinsulin in Verträglichkeit und Wirksamkeit deutlich überlegen ist sowie keine Verunreinigungen (Viren) aufweist. Gefahren aus der Herstellungsmethode sind nach 20 Jahren Praxis nicht bekannt. Selbst vehemente Gegner des gentechnisch hergestellten Insulins nehmen es. Die Hoechst AG gibt es nicht mehr. Der Start von innovativen Biotechnologieunternehmen erfolgte in Kontinentaleuropa ca. 20 Jahre später als in den USA. Die Finanzierung dieser Unternehmen ist bis heute schwierig.
Mittlerweile ist die sogenannte "rote" Biotechnologie weltweit und auch im deutschsprachigen Raum akzeptiert. Allerdings spielen sich ähnlich ideologisierte Diskussionen heute auf dem Gebiet der Stammzellforschung und der grünen Biotechnologie ab. Hier werden in erster Linie wieder nur hypothetisierte Gefahren diskutiert, die von sogenannten genveränderten Lebensmitteln ausgehen. Ergebnisse aus den USA und Südamerika, wo es seit Jahren diese "genveränderten" Lebensmittel auf dem Markt gibt und wo es noch zu keinem gemeldeten Krankheitsfall aufgrund dieser Nahrungsmittel gekommen ist, werden ignoriert. Auch wird die Stammzellforschung im deutschsprachigen Raum ethisch deutlich anders bewertet als in anderen Weltregionen. Die Konsequenzen dürften ähnliche sein wie im Bereich der "roten" Biotechnologie vor 25 Jahren.
Head Development Fermentation, Sandoz GmbH, Kundl
Former Secretary General, EuropaBio - European Association for Bioindustries, Brussels Abstract
Introduction
Biofuels are in principle not high tech products. You can burn wood, you can squeeze Bio diesel and we are fermenting alcohol since centuries. Waste can produce gasses, butane etc.. The high tech and biotech comes in and plays a role to increase the result, reduce the footprint on the planet and to improve the products. In fact to make it sustainable& Therefore even if not all bio fuels are really sustainable today we have to continue on this avenue to improve the sustainability step by step.
The good news is that it is highly probable that it is possible to improve exponentially the yield and the usefulness, to see it as another agricultural product such as food, cotton, coffee, fiber. And to provide for a large amount of the transport energy.
At the same time Biotechnology is also helping in reducing the energy needs for industrial processes or household processes such as washing of the laundry.
This does not reduce the responsibilities of other sectors to reduce energy consumption per activity and to develop alternative energies.
What is the real question?
Today, although we worry about the consequences of the massive use of fossil fuels and we have proven in around 200 years that the frenetic use of fossil energy is not sustainable, we hesitate to accept the sustainability of a human activity that we are already performing thousands of years: Agriculture. We have fed the world despite the explosion of the world population and the cost of agriculture has decreased by 75 % in the last 100 years. This phenomenal success is based on better agricultural techniques, Research & Development in agriculture and yield increases based on the simple equation, less input more output. Biotechnology can help in this endeavour and Biotechnology can also help in improving the use of agricultural outputs in industry, and certainly to give a new destination to waste streams;
It is a myth that this can be done without research, development and investments in knowledge, copying what others do.
It is a myth that the Biofuels are excluding food production, Agriculture needs some time to adapt but adapt it will to serve several purposes as it does already;
It is my intention to state that Agriculture needs Research and development to cope with the new challenges, but that it will be possible to stimulate intelligent solutions that are sustainable;
The question is not are bio fuels sustainable, the question is: can society cope with demand for transport energy without Bio fuels or without energy sources from renewable material. The consequent question is can agriculture produce bio fuels in a competitive, reliable constant and sustainable way and at the same time continue its first mandate to produce food.
I hope in the presentation to be able to convince the audience that agriculture can do that, providing that we think better and wiser, and that intelligent innovative solutions are not put aside for reasons of disbelieve, not invented here syndrome or fear for change. The solutions will not be perfect from the onset, but if we set ourselves the right objectives we can be sure that they will be better than the unlimited burning of fossil fuel.
Energy
Biotechnology is having a major effect on the economics and the environmental impact of the energy sector. Biotechnology can produce cleaner coal and petroleum, chiefly by removing sulfur and thus reducing the environmental contaminants released during combustion. Production of low-sulfur fuels will extend fossil fuel reserves and reduce levels of air contaminants. Biotechnology also has the potential for producing equivalents to petroleum distillates, such as biodiesel. Ethanol, methane, and molecular hydrogen are even cleaner fuels, all of which would, if produced biologically, greatly lower levels of greenhouse gases.

The bioconversion of synthesis gas to liquid fuels such as methanol is also being investigated. Synthesis gas is a mixture of CO, H2 and CO2 made by the partial oxidation of any carbon-based material. Feeds for the production of synthesis gas include agricultural, municipal, and paper wastes and biomass grown specifically for this purpose. The range of feeds for synthesis gas make it a particularly versatile source of fuels. With potentially lower processing costs and greater carbon yield, fuels derived from synthesis gas are an attractive alternative to fuels produced by fermenting biomass-derived sugars.

Bioethanol
Bioethanol is a liquid transportation fuel. Currently, most bioethanol is made from sugar cane, maize and other starch crops. In the United States, close to a billion gallons of ethanol are produced annually, and in Brazil production may be four times that. However, a tax credit is needed to achieve a competitive market price. To be economically competitive with fossil fuels, the technology for producing ethanol from biomass-derived sugars will require using high-yield low-cost crops and more efficient methods of converting lignocellulosic waste material into fermentable sugars. These two areas are the focus of current research. In studies sponsored by the Department of Energy, US scientists are investigating a simultaneous saccharification and fermentation procedure for converting cellulose to ethanol. The process combines cellulose hydrolysis and fermentation steps in one vessel to produce high yields. The objective is to develop, by the year 2020, technologies for producing ethanol from biomass at a cost that will be competitive, without tax incentives, with the cost of gasoline.
Vice Director and Programme Director, Cancer Cell Biology Programme, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), Madrid Abstract
Stem cells research holds great promise for better understanding human embryonic development as well as for treating degenerative diseases. Human Embryonic Stem (hES) cells have the potential of developing into any cell type of the body. Approximately 10 years ago James Thomson described for the first time the derivation and cultivation as well as differentiation of hES cells 1. This breakthrough with human cells following extensive groundwork by many investigators on mouse ES cells, in principle provides the basis for novel insights into human embryonic development, the possibility to test new pharmaceuticals and the development of replacement therapies for degenerative diseases. However, this research tool also raised many ethical questions and certain concerns.
Our own experiences in establishing the growth and differentiation conditions for the human ES cells (hES2 2) at the IMP in Vienna told us that this research is rather expensive, time consuming and bears uncertainties in Austria, where this kind of research is not regulated. However, we were able to successfully establish protocols to efficiently differentiate these cells into different cell types, e. g. blood, endothelial and bone cells; preliminary data from this project will be presented.
Recent exciting results described first by Shinya Yamanaka report the generation of induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells from already specialized cells, e. g. skin cells 3. iPS cells behave similarly to ES cells and they can be differentiated into specialized cell types, like blood cells and dopamine producing neurons. However, the specialized cells obtained from iPS cells might have differences compared to the cells of the body or cells differentiated from hES cells (pers.comm.). Analyses of iPS-obtained cells have shown that not all tissue-specific characteristics are fully developed and that they seem to differ in their survival rate. Furthermore, the use of viruses to obtain iPS cells, the inefficient production and the danger arising from possible damages that have accumulated due to the age of the cells suggest that a lot of research lies ahead and that research on hES cells is essential in its own right but also for comparative studies.
Given our own experience in Vienna and the limited time spent in Madrid, it is our strong belief that a liberal, but clear regulation concerning work on human ES and iPS cells is needed. This would provide a more positive atmosphere for scientists in Austria or recruited to Austria to work on human stem cells, which might become important for initiating this innovative research area of molecular medicine.
Partner, Industry Leader Biotechnology for Central Europe, Ernst & Young Ltd., Basel Abstract
The year 2007 was a great year of impressive research and development advances for a string of Swiss Biotech companies. Both Basilea Pharmaceuticals and Santhera Pharmaceu-ticals as well as Arpida reported positive results during Phase III of their lead products. As a result, all three were able to submit applications for market approval with, among others, the EMEA and the FDA. Therefore, there is a good chance that these three companies will be able to launch their first commercial products in 2008.

Speedel is a step further ahead in the business development cycle with licence earnings from the Novartis product known as Tekturna (or Rasilez outside the United States). It belongs to a category of drugs called renin inhibitors and is used in the treatment of hypertension. The FDA approval for the drug was received in March 2007 and it was successfully launched im-mediately. Speedel is now earning a regular stream of royalties having successfully taken the drug through clinical Phases I and II before Novartis exercised a call-back option in 2002.

But the R&D successes were fortunately not limited to listed companies. Some private firms like Mondobiotech and PregLem presented some impressive research results. All the signs indicate that Nitec Pharmaceuticals will almost certainly receive market approval in 2008 for its key product Lodotra - a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Nitec was originally founded in 2004 as a spin-out of Merck KGaA.

The fascinating Actelion story continues. The Swiss Biotech front-runner celebrated its tenth year with a sweet new record turnover of more than CHF 1.3 billion. Besides having Tracleer as a lead product with massive potential, the company has an attractive pipeline with several promising products in Phase III. This bodes well for future growth forecasts.

International awards are further indications of the excellent R&D performances of some local companies. In 2007, renowned committees honoured two innovative Swiss Biotech compa-nies: Speedel (with Novartis) won the Wall Street Journal's "Gold Award for Technology and Innovation" for their high blood pressure treatment and the World Economic Forum nominated Mondobiotech on 2008's list of 39 global technology pioneers.

Fundraising success break all records

The year 2007 was also excellent from the financing perspective. New investors pumped more than CHF 885 million into biotechnology, exceeding the previous record of CHF 780 million from the year 2006.

Private Swiss Biotech firms raised a record CHF 246 million, which was the second best re-sult after 2005. PregLem, from the Suisse Romande was the top fund-raiser. Founded a good year ago, with the vision to develop a portfolio of products, the reproductive medicine special-ist raised CHF 68 million in two funding rounds. Pevion Biotech and Nitec also raised over CHF 30 million each, in additional biotech financing rounds.

In 2007, another two biotech companies also dared the big step of a listing on the Swiss Stock Exchange. Addex Pharmaceuticals based in Geneva thus collected an imposing total of CHF 137 million of fresh capital while Cosmo Pharmaceuticals received some CHF 53.5 mil-lion. The SWX is evidently attractive for foreign Life Sciences companies. Following the lead of Bioxell and Newron, another Italian biotech company Cosmo opted for a SWX listing.

The success of the secondary financing rounds of some listed Swiss biotech companies was also unprecedented. Basilea alone floated shares worth CHF 324 million, Arpida raised al-most CHF 52 million with new shares. Cytos and Speedel issued convertible bonds to raise CHF 70 million and CHF 55.5 million respectively.

Quiet on the M&A front but plenty of licence activity

While there were a number of exciting mergers and acquisitions in 2006, except for a few stakes changing hands, 2007 was quiet in this respect. Although the drug wholesaler Galen-ica did acquire the Canadian Aspreva, this doesn't really count as biotech deal. Nonetheless, rumours of acquisitions are beginning to spread among Swiss companies since AstraZeneca bought MedImmune for the price of USD 15.6 billion in April 2007 and Biogen Idec effectively put up a "for sale" sign in the window. Having fairly full pipelines and rather low stock values, some Swiss biotech companies might be targets for Big Pharma take-overs in 2008, espe-cially when some of the large pharma companies are plagued by expiring patents and far from bulging R&D pipelines.

A clear and positive sign of the prosperity of the Swiss biotech industry is the whole list of at-tractive licence and partnership deals that were successfully signed in 2007. For example, Cytos signed a licence deal with Novartis to develop a vaccination against nicotine addiction for which Cytos will receive an up-front payment of CHF 35 million and potential royalties of up to CHF 600 million. Neurimmune signed a deal with Biogen Idec worth up to USD 380 mil-lion and Santhera expanded its cooperation with Takeda. Most recently, in early January 2008, Addex announced a very lucrative increase in its cooperation with Merck & Co.
Vorsitzende, Bioethikkommission beim Bundeskanzleramt; Geschäftsführerin, Ethik-Kommission, sowie Vizerektorin für Klinik und strategische Planung, Medizinische Universität Wien Abstract Chair
Scientists are conducting research worldwide in a quest for discovering and developing a permanent source of tissues and organs which would make it possible to advance regenerative medicine. The research on stem cells is very promising in this field as stem cells have the potential to differentiate into different cells and tissues. Stem cell research still involves basic research.

While research on the adult stem cells, umbilical stem cells or foetal stem cells is conducted without major ethical problems, the research on embryonic stem cells is controversial. The situation within the EU27 shows that there is a high degree of variation of legal systems and regulations between the single EU member states ranging from a liberal permissive position to a very restrictive position.
There are divergent views of the moral legitimacy on research on human embryos and on human embryonic stem cells within Europe as well as within the single European member states.

Austria has no specific legal provisions for research on hESC, except implicitly in legislation concerning reproductive medicine. Austrias position can be seen as rather restrictive as it has voted against hESC research during Council decision for the research frameworks.
The Austrian Bioethics Commission has so far only issued an opinion in 2002 on stem cell research in the context of the EU FP6 for research. This opinion is not unanimously but includes two diverging positions.
Currently the Austrian Bioethics Commission is discussing the issue of stem cell research again, and has issued an opinion regarding cord blood banks in May 2008.
A final decision regarding stem cell research is to be expected in November 2008.
Abteilung für Technischwirtschaftliche Forschung, Bereich Wirtschaftspolitik, Innovation und Technologie, Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Arbeit, Wien Coordination

Ph.D. Dr. rer. nat. habil. Walter H. GÜNZBURG

Professor of Virology and Head, Institute of Virology, University of Veterinary Sciences, Vienna

 Received his Ph.D. in London on the control of eukaryotic gene expression by DNA methylation. After two postdoctoral positions in the U.S.A. and Switzerland, he became a group leader at the National Research Centre for Environment and Health (GSF), in Munich, Germany where he spent 8 years working on retroviral vector mediated gene therapy as well as continuing his basic studies on gene expression control in retroviruses. In 1996, he was appointed full Professor of Virology in Vienna, Austria and since then has headed the Research Institute of Virology and Biomedicine in Vienna. In 2004, he additionally became the head of the newly established Christian Doppler Laboratory for Gene Therapeutic Vector Development, working in close collaboration with Biotech and Pharmaceutical industries to develop new retroviral vectors and cell therapy approaches for the treatment of solid tumours. In 2007 the Christian Doppler Society opened a foreign module focusing on virology and nanotechnology in Singapore under his leadership. Over the last ten years Prof Günzburg has been actively involved in European ethics and regulatory affairs in the fields of both xenotransplantation and gene therapy.

John HODGSON

Co-Founder and Director, Critical I Limited, Banbury

 Co-founder and Director of Critical I, a business development and business intelligence consultancy, specialising in the life sciences. Critical I supplies data and analysis of the life science sector to government ministries, regional development agencies, and other clients. Critical I also helps deserving early stage European biotechnology companies with business development, marketing, and fund raising.
 His assignments in the last two years include providing regulatory advice to an agrochemicals multinational; providing market analysis and positioning advice to a filtration technology company entering the biotechnology market; identifying potential acquisition targets for a leading quoted bioinformatics company; and evaluating potential investments on behalf of a number of the world's largest venture capital funds. John trained as a microbiologist and has followed the biotechnology sector since the early 80s.
 Since 1997, he has been a consultant in the field, advising biotech start-ups, venture capital funds, major companies in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical sector, scientific foundations, university tech transfer organisations, and European Commission and UK Government bodies on aspects of biotechnology ranging from business planning, fundraising, risk management and technology trends.
 Before 1997, John was a science and business writer as Senior Editor with Nature Biotechnology, the leading journal in the field, and before that Editor of Trends in Biotechnology. He is still Editor at Large of Nature Biotechnology, contributing occasional editorials and sage advice.
 In 2002-2003 John was Special Adviser to the UK Parliamentary Trade and Industry Select Committee in its enquiry into the UK biotechnology sector. He is also adviser to BioVision, the World Life Sciences Forum in Lyon, and an organiser of the first Biovision Nobel Days.

Dipl.-Ing. Dr. techn. Gerfried JUNGMEIER

Deputy Director, LIFE - Centre for Climate, Energy & Society, JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, Graz

1993 Master degree, Mechanical Engineering, Graz University of Technology
since 1993 Scientist at JOANNEUM RESEARCH
2000 Ph.D., "Greenhouse Gas Balance of Bioenergy Systems"
2002-2007 Chair Person, COST Action E31 "Management of Recovered Wood"
since 2006 Lecturer, "Ecological Resource Management", Vienna University of Technology
2007-2015 National Team Leader, IEA Bioenergy Task 42 "Biorefinery"
since 2011 Operating Agent, IEA HEV Task 30 "Life Cycle Assessment of Electric Vehicles"
since 2015 Operating Agent, IEA HEV Task 33 "Battery Electric Buses"
since 2016 Leader, CCCA Working Group "Consumption based Greenhouse Gas Accounting"

Dr. Jörg NEERMANN

Partner, LSP - Life Sciences Partners, Munich

1987-1993 Studies in Biotechnology at the Technical University Carolo-Wilhelmina at Brunswick (Germany) and the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (USA): Diploma/Masters degree
1993-1996 Ph.D. thesis (Dr. rer. nat.) at Technical University Carolo-Wilhelmina at Brunswick, German Research Center for Biotechnology (GBF) in parallel studies in economics at Technical University Carolo-Wilhelmina at Brunswick
1996-1998 Atlas Venture
1998-2006 DVC Deutsche Venture Capital
2002-2006 Managing Partner at DVC
since 2007 Partner at LSP Life Science Partners; board member of numerous Life Science Companies

Dr. Johan VANHEMELRIJCK

Former Secretary General, EuropaBio - European Association for Bioindustries, Brussels

1997-1999 Different European functions, Upjohn company
1989-2002 Secretary General, European Federation of Animal Health (FEDESA)
2002 Senior Director Worldwide Industry Affairs for Pharmacia Animal Health
since 2003 CEO of HI&PP Consult
2004-2008 Secretary General of EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries

Dr. Erwin F. WAGNER

Vice Director and Programme Director, Cancer Cell Biology Programme, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), Madrid

1970-1979 Studies of Biochemistry and Genetics in Graz, Berlin and Innsbruck
1979-1983 Max-Kade Fellow and Research Associate, Institute for Cancer Research, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA (U.S.A.) with Dr. B. Mintz
1983-1988 Group Leader, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany
1988-1997 Senior Scientist, Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), Vienna, Austria
1997-2008 Deputy Director, IMP, Vienna, Austria
since 2008 Vice Director and Programme Director, Cancer Cell Biology Programme, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), Madrid, Spain

lic. oec. HSG Jürg ZÜRCHER

Partner, Industry Leader Biotechnology for Central Europe, Ernst & Young Ltd., Basel

1987 Abschluss des Studiums der Betriebswirtschaftslehre in St. Gallen, Eintritt bei Ernst & Young in Basel
1992 Diplomierter Wirtschaftsprüfer
1993-1994 Austauschjahr bei Ernst & Young in den USA
1998 Ernennung zum Partner bei Ernst & Young Schweiz
2001 Verantwortlicher für den Biotech-Sektor Schweiz
2005 Verantwortung für den Biotech-Sektor Zentraleuropa
seit 2005 Mitglied des Global Biotech Advisory Panel von Ernst & Young Global

Dr. Christiane DRUML

Vorsitzende, Bioethikkommission beim Bundeskanzleramt; Geschäftsführerin, Ethik-Kommission, sowie Vizerektorin für Klinik und strategische Planung, Medizinische Universität Wien

 Studium der Rechtswissenschaften
1978 Promotion an der Universität Wien
 In den folgenden Jahren als anerkannte Expertin für Ethik im medizinischen Bereich etabliert
seit 1992 Geschäftsführerin der Ethikkommission der Medizinischen Universität Wien und des AKH - Allgemeinen Krankenhauses Wien
2007 Bestellung zur neuen Vorsitzenden der Bioethikkommission des österreichischen Bundeskanzleramtes von Bundeskanzler Alfred Gusenbauer

Technology Forum

show timetable

21.08.2008

10:00 - 12:30Technology brunch hosted by Tiroler ZukunftsstiftungSocial
13:00 - 13:20Opening by the European Forum AlpbachPlenary
13:20 - 14:00Plenary sessionPlenary
14:00 - 14:30Plenary sessionPlenary
15:00 - 15:45Ethics of sciencePlenary
15:45 - 16:30Stem cellsPlenary
17:00 - 18:00Politics and science - Advice through sciencePlenary
20:00 - 21:30BionicsPlenary
21:30 - 23:30Reception hosted by Alcatel-Lucent Austria AGSocial

22.08.2008

09:00 - 18:00Junior Alpbach - Science and technology for young peopleBreakout
09:00 - 16:00Working Group 01: From basic research to economic valueBreakout
09:00 - 16:00Working Group 02: Research integrity in scienceBreakout
09:00 - 16:00Working Group 03: The myths of life sciences and their consequencesBreakout
09:00 - 16:00Working Group 04: Aviation and the environmentBreakout
09:00 - 16:00Working Group 05: Think Tanks in AustriaBreakout
09:00 - 16:00Working Group 06: Gender mainstreaming in science and development. Perceive realities and decide visionarilyBreakout
09:00 - 16:00Working Group 07: Success factor human resources - Regions in competitionBreakout
09:00 - 16:00Working Group 08: Climate change - The future of transportBreakout
09:00 - 16:00Working Group 09: The governance of applied research: responsibilities, independence and resourcesBreakout
09:00 - 16:00Working Group 10: Digital healthcareBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Ö1 Children's University Alpbach - Science and technology for kidsBreakout
10:00 - 15:00Special Event: From the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe to the Regional Cooperation Council - A New Momentum for the Western Balkans' Perspective in Higher Education and Research?Breakout
10:00 - 16:00Working Group 11: Energy efficiency - Recognizing opportunities, utilizing potentialsBreakout
16:30 - 17:15The frontiers of science, part IPlenary
17:15 - 18:30Global competition for global talentsPlenary
20:00 - 21:30Information and communications infrastructures - The nerve centres of modern societiesPlenary

23.08.2008

10:00 - 10:30Science education for a science-driven societyPlenary
10:30 - 11:15The frontiers of science, part IIPlenary
11:15 - 11:45The future of the environment and agriculturePlenary
12:00 - 12:15Junior Alpbach and Ö1 Children's University Alpbach 2008Plenary
12:15 - 13:15Improbable Research and the Ig Nobel prizePlenary
13:15 - 14:00Snack reception, hosted by AVL List GmbHSocial