Italian pharmaceutical company association interested in EIT Health opportunities

6th December 2019

Italian partners of EIT Health met Farmindustria in Rome

On 30 October, in Rome, the Italian partners of EIT Health participated as special guests at a Farmindustria meeting, with the main aim of presenting EIT Health opportunities for start-ups and SMEs, and initiating a fruitful collaboration with one of the largest Italian pharma companies’ consortia.

The University of Naples Federico II, Synlab Italia Srl, The Italian Institute of Technologies and SDN S.p.A, supported by the EIT Health InnoStars managers, were invited to share their experiences with EIT Health, to scout for new synergies in terms of innovation project collaboration, and support for Start-ups/SMEs. Up to 20 Farmindustria members and guests shared their thoughts and interests with regard to collaborating with the EIT Health network.

Established in 1978, as an association representing pharmaceutical companies, Farmindustria is a member of Confindustria (the Confederation of Italian Industry), the European Federation (EFPIA) and the world federation (IFPMA). Its members comprise 200 Italian and foreign-owned companies operating in Italy.

With over 170 factories throughout the national territory, and 66,500 highly qualified and increasingly younger employees (81% of new recruits are under 35), and of whom women make up almost one half (42%), the pharmaceutical companies in Italy play a strategic role in the country and a leading role within the EU. The sector’s overall production value amounts to € 32.2 billion, of which over 80% is exported.

Thanks to 6600 researchers and €3 billion in annual investments (€1.3 in production and €1.7 in R&D), Italy is a major player in pharmaceutical research. This is amply demonstrated by the country’s specialisations in biotech medicinal products, advanced therapies, orphan drugs, blood derivatives, vaccines and clinical trials. Such pre-eminence has been achieved through territorial networks and in cooperation with public and private centres of excellence, universities, innovative SMEs, start-ups, charities and non-profit bodies.

To facilitate the links between public and private, sector and to increase the number of partnerships aimed at the discovery and development of new drugs and therapies, Farmindustria initiated, in co-operation with the Italian Society of Pharmacology (SIF), “Innovationflow”, a pharmaceutical platform of scientific knowledge where academia and industry can meet and prepare the ground for working together. On their site,, researchers can post non-confidential information on projects and ideas ready to be transferred to the industrial world which pharmaceutical companies can access through the a database.

“It has been a great pleasure to meet Farmindustria representatives and its companies’ network, in view of promoting EIT Health programmes in 2020 for start-ups/SMEs”, said Chiara Maiorino, regional manager for Southern Europe of EIT Health InnoStars. “In an open-innovation logic, both networks (i.e. EIT Health in Italy and Farmindustria) are keen to cooperate within the pharmaceutical sector, supporting collaborations among large and medium-sized Italian companies and start-ups, thanks also to EIT Health activities”.

As representatives of EIT Health Italian partners, Prof. Netti, Director of the Neapolitan section of the Italian Institute of Technology, presented the assets of the Italian partners and EIT Health activities which have been promoted in Italy since 2017. Prof. Panico, deputy chairman of EIT Health Innostars, confirmed the willingness of Italian partners to involve Farmindustria companies in future activities: “We strongly believe that the co-operation with Farmindustria will help EIT Health’s Italian partners to consolidate pharma start-ups/SMEs network and activities in our country, leveraging the growth of the Italian innovation ecosystem in the health sector”.

Franz Friedl, Chief Advisor to the Board, who took part in the meeting on behalf of EIT Health, has also endorsed the initiative of creating a strong collaboration with Farmindustria.

Stay tuned to find out more about a joint-event which EIT Health Italian partners and Farmindustria are organizing for next year, 2020!

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