On 15 May 2014, the IPROVE consortium launched its first consultation workshop dedicated to vaccine SME needs as part of the IPROVE (Innovation Partnership for a Roadmap on Vaccines in Europe) Commission-funded FP7 project.
16 SMEs form 8 countries took part in the workshop together with representatives from the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the European Institute of Technology and Innovation as well as larger research-based vaccine companies. The Workshop was structured around the following four main strategic thematic areas:
- Mobilising new ideas to improve R&I contribution from SMEs in the vaccine/immunology area;
- Enhancing competitiveness of SMEs and interaction with public authorities and large pharma;
- Elaborating strategies to enhance SME involvement in EU R&I activities in the vaccine and immunology arena;
- Improving access to risk/venture capital, efficiency and effectiveness of funding at the EU & Member State level.
Representatives from the participating SMEs reported a series of specific needs/challenges representing roadblocks for SMEs on the way towards full exploitation of their innovation potential, but also gave specific suggestions to overcome these shortcomings. These will feed into the development of a wider roadmap on vaccine research and innovation needs targeting EU and national funding and policy-making bodies.
More detailed conclusions of the workshop will be soon made available on the IPROVE website.