Towards an European industrial strategy for the Life Science sector?

Power Breakfast
life sciences

Towards An European Industrial Strategy For The Life Science Sector?” This is the title of the Power Breakfast held on October 3rd in our Brussels office.

After a brief introduction by the Head of Innovation of the Institute for Competitiveness (I-Com), Eleonora Mazzoni, it was the turn of the guest speaker, Mr. Stefan Gijssels, Managing Director, SEBOIO, who presented the comparative analysis “Which countries are attractive for Life Science Investments in Europe?”. After a Q&A session, Stefano Soro, Head of Biotechnology and Food Supply Chain Unit, DG GROW, European Commission, has delivered a conclusive intervention on the main issues discussed during the Breakfast.

Today, the healthcare industry looks very different to ten years ago. New technologies have revolutionized healthcare – delivering benefits to patients and reducing healthcare costs, allowing patients to contribute to the labor market and the economy. Innovation in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostic technologies and, increasingly, digital health has transformed the way we deliver and manage treatments and organize healthcare systems. Although each type of health technology has its own distinct challenges, the increasing use of integrated, combined treatment options (that combine pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics and digital health solutions) are posing new challenges for the healthcare system.

Competition and the speed of technical obsolescence are increasing and the evolution of technology-oriented companies is changing the market structure (consolidation in some areas, fragmentation in others) and shifting to provide new value propositions, with implications across the value chain. However, the policy debate, to date, has still not focused on the shared challenges and opportunities facing different technologies, nor on the implications for policy reform that should be incorporated into a life science strategy.

The emergence of new healthcare business models is changing the role of the existing innovators and how they interact with healthcare providers. This will require an environment that encourages innovation, adopting a joined-up approach that focuses on the integration of R&D, IP protection, life cycle manufacturing, healthcare system sustainability and fostering innovation in the European life science industry. It is essential for the EU to retain its global competitiveness, especially vis-à-vis the US. Building on the March 2018 Council conclusions and renewing efforts over the next legislative cycle to develop an industrial strategy that takes into account all the challenges facing medicines, medical devices, diagnostic technologies and digital health, would help to foster a policy environment that can adapt to the changing needs of a new industrial health sector.

The debate focused on the state of art of European investments and industrial development in the life science sector and, in particular, on the way forward to increase investments and create a more uniform scenario for R&I expenditure in the European Union as a whole.