The SARS-Cov-2 pandemic changes the way people view science and knowledge, generally speaking. The pandemic showed that knowledge in Life Sciences is crucial in developing overall preparedness and responses to sanitary crises. Biotechnology allows the identification of the pathogenic agent and the diagnosis of infected patients. In a nutshell, Life Sciences is the body of knowledge central to fighting this societal challenge and avoid similar situations in the future.
We are going through a Public Health crisis. However, biotechnology is the only one capable of solving the problem. The diagnosis of infected people (PCR tests), access to epidemiological data (serologic tests) and the development of a vaccine are all products of biotechnology.
For Life Sciences to thrive in developing new solutions, products and services a robust economic fabric, capable of serving the needs of society efficiently, must be in place. An experienced and professionalized structure of technology transfer between universities, laboratories and the economy must be empowered. Specialised investment, accounting for the specificities of the sector, must be deployed.
In statements to the press (link in Portuguese) David Braga Malta, Magnify’s Managing Partner, reinforced that, unfortunately, science indicates that future sanitary emergencies might be a reality and, a such, that we need a stronger a more robust biotechnology sector to face the public health challenges.
Proposal: Ensuring health in the future requires an investment in Life Sciences today
Magnify fully endorses the proposal, made by Portugal’s biotechnology industry organisation (P-Bio), of creating the thematic operational program Portugal Bio-Health 2030 and positioning Life Sciences as a national priority. The proposal was led and coordinated by our Managing Partner David Braga Malta who suggests channeling EU funds to assure this strategic investment over the next decade.
The 2030 Bio-Health Strategy upholds a sustained and transversal investment in basic and translational research as well as in innovation and industrial capacity to position Portugal as a R&D Hub in Biotechnology and Life Sciences.
From all measures brought forward in the proposal we would like to highlight the following:
- Building competencies across the EU industrial fabric through the creation of the SME Business European Enhancement Act, dictating that 10% of the expenses incurred by Member States are on SMEs and another 10% on EU-owned enterprises;
- Promotion of highly qualified employment, particularly for PhD graduates, where Life Sciences is one of the sectors of reference, with wages 54% above average;
- Promotion of technology transfer by financing Venture Capital Funds specialised in Life Sciences through a fund of funds of IFD;
- Creation of the SME-DEEPTECH status;
- Promotion of Clinical Research and Development as a driver of new capital for the Portuguese National Health Service;
- Attraction of health focused R&D hubs to Portugal in order to develop a cluster of high added value products and services.
At Magnify, we are committed to sustainable development globally and believe that investing in healthcare combines return with impact to society. Our funds pursue advancements in the way we cure diseases, adapt physical infrastructures for an aging population and foster the adoption of transformative care delivery solutions. This proposal is fully aligned with our beliefs as it aims to strenghten the Life Sciences sector through a sustained investment in basic and translational science.
We believe in a more robust cluster of Life Science companies, fully capable of serving Portugal, Europe and society as a whole. Life Sciences, and the biotehcnology sector in specific, empowers us to overcome crises as the one we are currently going through and is a driver of social and economic development, through long-term sustainable technological differentiation.