BIO Digital : Substantial Quebec Ecosystem Participation
Despite the cancellation of the BIO International Convention – originally scheduled for June 8-12 in San Diego – many biotech industry members participated in last week’s BIO Digital. This first virtual edition brought together more than 7,000 participants from 64 countries who were interested in the varied programming and the chance to explore new collaboration opportunities. The event also highlighted the significant contribution of research and innovation in the fight against COVID-19.
“The pandemic has not curtailed business development. It’s actually the opposite: companies continue to look for investment and partnership opportunities.”
Stéphanie Doyle, Director, Business Development , Life Sciences and Health Technologies – Foreign Investments, Montréal International
Massive participation, productive discussions
Quebec was very well represented at BIO Digital: close to 35 companies participated. In addition to attending several virtual conferences, they used the One-on-One Partnering system to set up more than 700 meetings. The large number of appointments meant that to maximize their allotted time, participants showed up very well prepared. Several people even pointed out that this initial virtual speed dating was ideal for introductory, pre-networking encounters and to quickly evaluate and validate business opportunities while saving both time and money. Although there is no substitute for the face-to-face interactions and informal discussions that occur during in-person events, many feel this was simply the beginning. Visits have already been scheduled in the coming months.
“My participation was quite advantageous. We established several promising partnerships with European and American companies.”
Karim Bouayad-Gervais, President of Pillar Science
An unmitigated success
This virtual formula made it possible to target and discover a wider range of companies, from small biotechs to multinationals. While some professionals were looking for partners with which to collaborate and expand over a certain period, others were considering acquisition opportunities or strategic alliances. Regardless of the objectives associated with their participation, all those questioned seemed satisfied and pleased with this inaugural event.
Although this BIO experience was very different from previous ones, everyone agrees that BIO Digital is a success. Indeed, the digital format has many advantages which compensate for the lack of in-person interactions and could very well pave the way for a new business development and networking model.
“This was our second time attending BIO, and while we would have preferred to be there in person, this year’s virtual format seems to have been worthwhile.”
Vincent Blouin, Chief Marketing Officer, Raspberry Scientific inc.
“In terms of the meetings’ effectiveness, there wasn’t much difference between the in-person and virtual versions of the event.”
Vincent Ménard, Director, Strategic Development, Feldan Therapeutics