In a landmark move within the European Union Horizon launch, the BIOCONNECT project has emerged as a pivotal initiative set to reinforce the Baltic biotechnology ecosystem’s impact in the EU. Led by a dynamic consortium comprising seven institutions from the Baltic (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and Nordic regions (Finland), the project aims to establish an action plan for a more interconnected and vibrant regional biotechnology ecosystem.
This one-year initiative, commencing on December, 2023, and concluding on December, 2024, targets a wide range of stakeholders, from academia and industry to investors, policymakers, and the broader public, with a vision to enhance collaboration and drive positive societal, economic, and environmental impacts.
Academic and industry leaders are joining forces to drive a significant transformation in the Baltic biotechnology cluster. The aim is to sustain high growth in the field by bringing together international expertise in life sciences. The overarching goal of the BIOCONNECT project is not only to fortify the smart specialisation strategies of the Baltic states but also to contribute to the broader goals of the New European Innovation Agenda. Anticipated to transcend borders, the project is poised to foster collaboration, enhance funding options for startups, and pave the way for transformative advancements in biotechnology.
With inclusivity at its core, BIOCONNECT seeks to open a dialogue among major biotech stakeholders, mapping the ecosystem and formulating shared goals. The development of a comprehensive Baltic biotechnology innovation ecosystem action plan, featuring 40+ initiatives, promises to elevate the region’s biotech prowess through cross-border collaboration. Beyond regional impact, BIOCONNECT’s strategic pathways aspire to serve as a template for other EU emerging regions, promoting interconnected, gender-equal, and economically impactful biotech ecosystems.
Moreover, the BIOCONNECT consortium is delighted to declare its strategic partnerships with prominent Baltic research hubs that specialise in various biotechnological domains, ranging from groundbreaking medical advancements at institutions such as the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, Vilnius University Life Sciences Center, Latvian Biomedical Center, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, TU Institute of Genomics to pioneering industrial advancements with partners such as the Estonian Centre for Biosustainability, University of Tartu, Association LithuaniaBIO, Vilnius University Life Sciences Center, LU Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology.
Through fostering enhanced collaboration within and between these biotech spheres across the Baltics, the BIOCONNECT project is poised to catalyze the critical mass necessary for extensive commercialization via the establishment of new companies, foreign direct investment, and dynamic industry partnerships. Anticipated outcomes include a substantial increase in the creation of 20-30 new biotech startups annually in the mid-term, with a minimum 50% of them keep thriving after the initial stages. The implementation of action plan’s initiatives, such as research collaboration, talent development, startup incubation and acceleration, as well as policy alignment, is projected to not only spur economic growth but also generate high-quality employment opportunities, contributing significantly to the advancement of the outlined agendas.