A new industrial strategy for the innovative European pharma sector

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A new industrial strategy for the innovative European pharma sector


In 2019, Friends of Europe has been exploring an industrial strategy for Europe through its ‘Towards European Industrial Innovation: Who Should Lead the Way?’ series. This debate complements the series by bringing the discussion to the pharmaceutical sector – a sector that brims with innovation, but needs attention if it is to stay ahead of the curve. Speakers at this event will debate what the European Union can do to deliver on the potential of its innovative pharmaceutical sector.

Friends of Europe organises this event in partnership with the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).

PHOTO CREDIT: Bigstock/Vectormine



Networking lunch and registration of participants
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Pharmaceuticals are an EU success story. The fast-growing sector has doubled its production in the past 15 years and tripled exports outside the EU, while improving the lives of patients. However, through a combination of financial pressures, increased access to drugs, the growth of gene and cell therapies and uncertain trade policies, the dynamics of the pharmaceutical market are expected to undergo further changes in years to come. About 800,000 people work in the pharmaceutical sector, a huge asset for Europe as they try to simultaneously tackle the challenges presented by a greying population, a revolution in the labour market and climate change. Europe is not short of entrepreneurial life scientists with big ideas. But the innovation ecosystem needs attention if it is to scale up products and services for the market.

A new industrial policy strategy for Europe is imperative for the research-based European pharmaceutical industry to remain strong, allowing Europe to retain its competitive advantage vis-à-vis other global economies. A renewed industrial strategy must be built, among others, around incentives such as intellectual property, to support and incentivise innovation and investment in Europe.

  • How can the potential of the innovative pharmaceutical sector for Europe be unleashed and how can a renewed industrial strategy contribute to that?
  • What are the roadblocks that could be removed through EU instruments and industry sector leadership?
  • How to develop a roadmap for Europe that removes potential obstacles and integrates the use of new technologies to enable Europe to become a centre of excellence in healthcare and medical research by the end of the next European Commission’s term?


Marcel Haag

Head of the Directorate for Jobs, Growth and Investment at the European Commission Secretariat-General

Janne Känkänen

Head of EU and International Affairs at the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

Daria Tataj

Entrepreneur, Strategy Advisor and Chair of the RISE High-Level Expert Group to the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science

Isabelle Thizon-de Gaulle

Vice President for Scientific Relations and R&D Initiatives for Europe at Sanofi


Tamsin Rose

Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe

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Tamsin Rose

Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe

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Tamsin Rose is Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe. Having studied international relations, she has 25 years of experience working across the European continent from Ireland to Mongolia. A natural communicator, Tamsin has been a radio reporter, worked on press for the EU Delegation in Moscow and is currently a member of the external speaker team for the European Commission Directorate General for Communication, describing how the EU works and key policies to visitor groups from around the world. Since 2002 she has specialised in public health and public participation issues, serving as Secretary General of the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), and providing strategic advice for health groups on how to engage successfully with the EU.

Daria Tataj

Entrepreneur, Strategy Advisor and Chair of the RISE High-Level Expert Group to the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science

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