Most Innovative European Biotech SME Awards 2019 now open for entries

Posted on: 10/04/2019

EuropaBio’s European Biotech SME Awards recognise biotech innovation in healthcare, agricultural or industrial biotech.

EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries, is inviting biotech start-ups and small and medium sized biotech companies (SMEs) across Europe to apply for the 10th edition of the Most Innovative European Biotech SME Awards – a unique annual initiative recognising biotech innovation and its contribution to society.

Depending on their field of activity, SMEs can apply in three categories: healthcare, agricultural or industrial biotech. Applications must be submitted online by Sunday 15 September 2019. Two companies will be shortlisted in each category by a Jury of biotech and SME experts, with the winners celebrated during a landmark event held in Brussels on the 6th November. Each winner will also receive €10,000 prize money and two years free EuropaBio membership (runners-up also receive the latter), in addition to European-level exposure and visibility as well as press coverage.

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Recognising SME biotech innovation in Europe

The European Commission considers small and medium-sized enterprises to be the backbone of Europe’s economy. They represent 90% of all businesses in the EU.

Peter Heinrich, Chair of EuropaBio’s SME Platform says:

“The majority of the most valuable innovation happens in SMEs, which then go on to form relationships with larger companies, paving the way for improved health, cleaner energy and better environment, for products and processes as well as a sustainable farming for Europe‚Äôs societies.”

Biotech exemplifies the way in which science and scientific breakthroughs can be applied to respond to some of society’s most difficult challenges. From new therapies that can address unmet medical needs, to industrial processes that use resources more efficiently, to drought-resistant crops that allow farmers to feed a growing population in unpredictable climatic conditions, biotechnology pays economic, societal and environmental dividends.

Tjerk de Ruiter, EuropaBio’s Chair and CEO, Corbion adds:

“The diversity and quality of applications received in previous years demonstrate the entrepreneurial excellence of EU biotech SMEs. They are at the forefront of some critical innovation and are delivering solutions under challenging circumstances. Through these awards we recognise the vital breakthroughs they are making.”

The awards have become one of the highlights in the European biotech calendar, with over 250 SMEs competing since they were initiated. Their success stories can be read online at

The experts who are part of the jury are involved in biotech and understand the science, the funding realities and the regulatory and political frameworks in which European biotech SMEs operate. They appreciate the contribution that innovative SMEs will make to Europe’s future, and together, they will carefully analyse each application to select the final nominees. Past jury members included: Dame Anne Glover, Dr. Phillipe de Backer, MEP Dr. Paul Rübig, Prof. Dr. Andrew Porter, MEP Kay Swinburne, Jos Peeters and many more.


Criteria for entry

In order to be considered for the EuropaBio SME awards a company must qualify as an SME under the standard EU SME definition (e.g. primary location of operations within Europe, 250 or less employees, €50 million or less annual turnover). EuropaBio will award companies and runners-up in 3 categories: healthcare, agricultural and industrial biotechnology.


Deadline for applications

SMEs should apply by 15th September 2019 on the awards website here.

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