05 de December 2013

Biolatam in Bogota: A Meeting Point For Global Biotechnology

  • 275 international and domestic companies will meet on December 9th and 10th in Bogota, to take part in Biolatam, the first global biotechnology summit in Latin America.
  • 500 participants from 29 countries, 25 capital investment funds, 700 business meetings and 15 conferences will gather around biotechnology.  Close to 7.8 billion pesos in research and development will be managed. 
  • Bogota and Cundinamarca will present investment opportunities in Biotechnology in sectors such as agriculture and foodstuffs, health, cosmetics and industry escalation services.

The world is looking to Bogota as it hosts the first global biotechnology summit in Latin America: Biolatam. Colombia's biodiversity - the highest per square meter in the world - and Bogota's market -with a population of close to 8 million and a GDP larger than that of may Latin American countries (US$ 90 billion)- have put the city on the radars of the main global investors in this field.

Biotechnology is any technological application that uses biological systems and living organisms, or their derivates, for the creation or modification of products or processes that yield benefits for humans.  It is used to produce healthier foodstuffs, to improve medications, to obtain more resilient or less pollutant materials, more productive crops, renewable energy sources, and even systems to do away with pollution.

Biolatam, to be held on December 9th and 10th, is an event organized by the Spanish Association of Biocompanies (ASEBIO), jointly with Invest in Bogota.  It has institutional support from iNNpulsa, the Bogota City Hall (Secretary of Economic Development), the Bogota Chamber of Commerce and the Government of Cundinamarca (Secretary of Science, Technology and Innovation).



This great summit of the global biotechnology sector gathers companies, researchers and venture capital institutions, seeking to close business deals.  500 participants from 29 countries, 25 capital investment funds, 700 business meetings and 15 conferences will gather around biotechnology.  Capital investment firms managing close to 7.8 billion pesos will be present at the event, looking to find investment opportunities in this sector. 


Bogota, the hub of biotechnology for Latin America.

Bogota and Cundinamarca make their move on biotechnology, an industry driving innovation and development in sectors such as agriculture, health, medicine, environmental preservation and genetic resources.  The region has the necessary elements to become the Latin American hub in biotechnology: 

Scientific-technological offering:  There are over 2.000 active research groups in Bogota and Cundinamarca.  The city accounts for 43% of the total investments being made in research and development in the country, and it consolidates 51% of the science, technology and innovation activities.  There is a total of 35 universities in Bogota and Cundinamarca, as well as several research centers working on areas related to this industry, such as the National University's Biotechnology Institute's, the Colombian Immunology Institute Foundation - FIDIC, and the Agroindustrial Technological Corridor for Bogota and Cundinamarca.

Local market and access to global markets:  Bogota and Cundinamarca comprise a total population of 7,6 million, with a GDP worth US$ 90 billion; that is, larger than that of many Latin American countries.  On account of several international free trade agreements currently in effect, companies in the region can tap into a global market worth US$ 41 billion, with over 1.4 billion potential buyers.

Skilled labor force:  Bogota is the city with the highest number of professionals graduating from masters and post-graduate programs in the country, and there are 115 higher education institutions enrolling over 582.000 students and graduating close to 100.000 professionals and technicians each year.  The Colombian capital focuses 47% of the country's active researchers, and annually graduates over 25.000 students in areas related to bio-technology.

Institutional support: Both the national government, as well as the local governments in Bogota and Cundinamarca, have defined this industry as a priority for development.  The region is developing projects and initiatives around agricultural biotechnology allowing for the development of better seeds, ensuring food safety, developing foodstuffs with functional and phytotherapeutic properties and natural cosmetics.

Biodiversity:  Colombia is the most bio-diverse country in the world, by square meter. It accounts for 10% to 14% of all biodiversity in the planet, not counting microbial or marine biodiversity. 

According to Juan Gabriel Pérez, Executive Director at Invest in Bogota, "Attracting investments into the biotechnology sector is a priority, due to the overarching impact this industry has on other industries, and how it drives their development.   We have identified investment opportunities in Biotechnology and the agricultural and foodstuffs sectors, as well as health (human and animal), cosmetics and industry escalation services".



Biotechnology, an added value industry.

The biotechnology industry is key for the development of different daily use products such as:

Foodstuffs: additives (emulsions, colorants, flavor packs), substitutes and functional ingredients (strengtheners and pro-biotic like yogurts).

Medications:  research and duplications of stem cells, vaccines, advanced therapies.

Cosmetics: color and flavor additives, and natural scents.

Materials: Bio-polymers and other bio-materials.