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
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. Approximately 800,000 people work in the pharmaceutical sector, making the sector a huge asset for Europe as it tries 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 can Europe become a centre of excellence in healthcare and medical research by the end of the next European Commission’s term?
Head of the Directorate for Jobs, Growth and Investment at the European Commission Secretariat-General
Director for EU and International Affairs at the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Entrepreneur, Strategy Advisor and Chair of the Research, Innovation and Science (RISE) High-Level Expert Group
Isabelle Thizon-de Gaulle
Vice-President for Scientific Relations and R&D Initiatives for Europe at Sanofi
Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe
As Head of the Directorate for Jobs, Growth and Investment at the Secretariat-General, Marcel Haag is in charge of policy coordination. He has extensive experience in the European Commission, working in multiple services. Haag headed several policy units at the Secretariat-General before taking up his current position. Prior to joining the European Commission, Haag qualified as a judge in Düsseldorf and briefly worked in the private sector.
Janne Känkänen has held multiple positions within the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, including his current role as Director for EU and International Affairs. He is also the Chair of the European Council High Level Working Group on Competitiveness and Growth, where he advocates for a strong focus on sustainability. Känkänen has a deep knowledge of the interface between the private and public sector and the impact of industrial policy on European and global businesses.
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.
As Chair of the High-Level Group of Policy Advisors to Carlos Moedas, the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Daria Tataj leads the policy reflection on the Horizon Europe budget. She is one of the architects of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) – an independent body of the European Union set up to deliver innovation across Europe – and its Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC). Tataj was also an Executive Member of the EIT Founding Board for six years. Drawing on her experience as a leading expert in innovation and network thinking, she wrote the book ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship. A Growth Model for Europe Beyond the Crisis’.
Isabelle Thizon-de Gaulle is currently Vice-President of Sanofi, leading on Scientific Relations and R&D Initiatives within Europe. Thizon-de Gaulle began her career with Sanofi in 1992 and has since held multiple leading positions within the organisation, including Vice-President for Medical Affairs and Scientific Relations in Europe, Vice-President for Global Medical Affairs Operations and Vice-President for R&D Partnerships. Additionally, Thizon-de Gaulle is a member of the Board of Directors for the French National Association for Research and Technology (ANRT) and a member of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) Health Supervisory Board.
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