Eurobiomed and Cancer Bio Santé merge to create a pan-European health cluster.
Eurobiomed and Cancer Bio Santé, two competitiveness clusters covering the south of France, are joining forces to create one of the largest European clusters of SMEs in the health sector. Discussion with Xavier Tabary, president of Eurobiomed and director of the Sanofi Montpellier site.
Why did Eurobiomed and Cancer Bio Santé (CBS) decide to merge?
With the recent merger of the Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées regions resulting in the creation of the greater Occitanie region, there was a need for us to follow the movement and create a more powerful and more coherent entity. The government also encouraged to make the change so that we could more effectively help companies access innovation funding at a European level. We were also inspired by one of our partners, Biocom, a California-based cluster of companies with about 1,100 members from San Diego to San Francisco, two cities that are just a little farther apart than Marseille and Toulouse. Biocom is one of the world’s most powerful and recognized clusters. Similarly, the territory covered by Eurobiomed and CBS is also rich with top-quality innovations in the health field.
How would you describe the merger of your two competitiveness clusters?
It is currently in progress and will be complete in the coming weeks, resulting in a brand-new entity. The purpose is to unite our strengths. Eurobiomed has 290 members in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur and Languedoc-Roussillon areas; and CBS has 90 members in the Midi-Pyrénées area. We carry out the same missions, helping project leaders and startups to get going on the right track and grow. We provide them with services and advice, and we help them seek funds and financing. Eurobiomed organizes 20-25 thematic events per year, attracting a total of 2,000 people. 172 projects have been funded over the past 12 years, representing 700 million euros in investment, with fund-raising totaling 140 million euros. Our network is our biggest strength, based largely on our members who participate in cluster life, help each other, and share their experience; as well as on the relationships we build with our partners, such as the American cluster Biocom over the past 5 years, and the Japanese innovation network Link-J for the past year. Both of those organizations welcome and assist our companies when they want to set up operations in their countries. We reciprocate by helping their companies get settled here.
What will the cluster be like after the merger?
As soon as it is created, the cluster will already have 380 members. Our goal is to reach 500 by 2022. We will be present throughout the Occitanie region as well as in Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur, Toulouse, Montpellier, and Marseille. Metropolitan and regional authorities, along with the French government, will remain our main source of funding and our privileged partners. We interviewed 90 companies, research institutions, and Hospital Centers to establish our roadmap. Our strategy is based on four key areas: prevention and prediction; diagnostics; personalized choices; and monitoring the health journey. Major themes include the patient experience, digital health tools, innovative therapies, connected objects, and more.
What are the benefits of the partnership between Eurobiomed and Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole?
Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole has supported the Eurobiomed competitiveness cluster ever since it was created, while also providing support for our CellComp program to help companies and Go4BioBusiness program to speed up their growth. This year, for the third time, Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole and Eurobiomed shared a booth under the Montpellier France Health Hub banner at the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest conference for biotechnologies and health, held in Philadelphia (June 3-6, 2019). The competitiveness cluster identifies companies that are the most likely to be able to benefit from participating in that event and helps them prepare their pitches. Eurobiomed recently expanded its Montpellier team, located at Cap Sigma, one of Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole’s office buildings in the Euromédecine Science Park, in the heart of Montpellier’s very rich health ecosystem, with the University Hospital, research centers, University of Montpellier, and numerous companies. The competitiveness cluster helps drive this network by organizing thematic meetings focusing on clinical research, regulatory issues, EC branding, and more.