Marc Van de Craen of Biotech Subsidy talks about helping companies discover what European and regional grants are available




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Video title: Marc Van de Craen of Biotech Subsidy talks about helping companies discover what European and regional grants are available
Released on: June 15, 2011. © PharmaTelevision Ltd
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In this episode of PharmaTelevision News Review, Fintan Walton talks to Marc Van de Craen, Founding Partner of Biotech Subsidy
Focus and business
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaTelevision News Review here at BioTrinity 2011. On this show I have Marc Van de Craen, who is the Founding Partner of a company called BiotechSubsidy, welcome to the show.
Marc Van de Craen:
Good, thank you for having me.
Fintan Walton:
BiotechSubsidy is a company that'ss based in Belgium and you'sre a company that supports startup companies, small emerging companies and other types of companies to get grants?
Marc Van de Craen:
Yes.
Fintan Walton:
Could you tell us first of all just little bit about how the company was founded, and what'ss your current, what sort of clients you are working with and how you build your business?
Marc Van de Craen:
Okay, so we were founded in 2007 and actually from 2009 we work with two additional partners and we all three come from the biotech sector itself so we were former directors of the biotech and so we do have a very sound knowledge of the biotech itself and we combine that with the grant, knowledge and sense that we have and it'ss especially small medium enterprises that we are focusing on, but also startups we need startups we also handle and even let'ss say small pharma companies so the medium sized pharma companies as well. The larger pharma companies most of the times do not need this type of services, because they have it either in-house or they just have no need to this type of subsidies.
Regional and European grants
Fintan Walton:
Sure, so the types of grants that you obtain obviously there are grants at different levels, there are regional grants, there are country grants, there is the EU grants, where do you operated in that spectrum?
Marc Van de Craen:
We actually operate in all these areas, but what we do we also operate over the entire Europe, so but what we do then is that we make alliances with local kind of local colleagues and they handle then the regional grants the non-scientific regional grants and we handle the biotech related regional grants and the biotech related European grants, so we kind of make that combination of experiences in that.
Fintan Walton:
And for most of your clients are they surprised by what sort of grants they can get, because often companies don'st recognize or realize?
Marc Van de Craen:
That'ss true, that'ss really true, it'ss especially true with European grants, I mean most of the companies do know the regional grant systems pretty well but then the European grant system for most of the companies is still kind of far from their home in a sense and they have heard a lot of rumors about this and often time these rumors are not really correct and then we taught them and surprised about the possibilities that there are and also about kind of how, I would say how easier it is to get the grants or to access to this grant systems and it'ss like funds as the European grants is not really that extremely complicated in a sense that recently the European commission changed also their system and which makes it much easier for especially for small medium enterprises to enter not only the very big grants, but also kind of smaller initiatives by the European commission like funds as Eurostars or Eurotrans-Bio there you only have to have two partners from two different countries and then you can already ask for a grant and it'ss really focused around small medium enterprise and really a lot of companies don'st really know about this yet.
Size of grants
Fintan Walton:
So what sort of size grants can people get, what sort of this scale of grants that people can get?
Marc Van de Craen:
That really well it ranges from lets say100,000 Euros to 30 million Euros.
Fintan Walton:
Really, so one company could get a grant of 30 Million?
Marc Van de Craen:
No, that would not be one company that would be a consortium that 30 million would be consortium let'ss say the typical European grants are like 6 million Euro but that needs to be divided and let'ss say over three to four, five partners, so you can count for between 1 and 2 million Euros for such a grant per partner which is still reasonable like I would say.
Are there any restrictions for a company getting grants?
Fintan Walton:
Right, and what are the restrictions for you know somebody getting a grant or company getting grant are there any restrictions?
Marc Van de Craen:
No there are no really restrictions, but especially in Europe or and also in at certain regional grants what you can have is that the reimbursement from the grant is lesser for the larger companies, so for instance in the European grant system the small medium enterprises meaning companies under 250 people and also some other restrictions related to it these companies get 75% reimbursement which is really nice and the larger companies over 250 people get something like 50% reimbursement which is still nice, but of course there is the difference between small and big.
Fintan Walton:
And how do you work with your clients do you work on the professional fee basis or do you work on the success basis as well?
Marc Van de Craen:
It'ss actually a combination, so because we also want to feel the drive to be successful and I think it'ss also good for the client itself that there is that drive and so we combine kind of a low only fee or fixed fee with a success fee and if there is success we deduct the payments the former payments from the success fee.
Fintan Walton:
Okay, so it'ss all then ends up all from the grant money that the company has raised?
Marc Van de Craen:
Yes.
Current funding environment and Changes in terms of availability of grants
Fintan Walton:
So obviously you know the industry is going through tough times primarily in the funding space and in particular for those early stage companies that are still high risk, so have you see an increase in the number of companies now looking for grants as a form of funding?
Marc Van de Craen:
What do you see is that the board meaning most of the time the investors now asks the management to really actively look for this type of grant money because it'ss non-dilutive and so that'ss the trend that you see clearly and so that means also that it'ss now becoming more and more embedded in the strategy of the company itself to have this type of focus also on their work.
Fintan Walton:
And obviously because you deal with the bodies that give out these grants are they increasing the size of the grants, are they getting it bigger and of course sometimes they can get smaller, what is the trend in terms of availability of these particular grants?
Marc Van de Craen:
Okay, so what do you see is that in certain countries like for instance Holland and UK as well you see a decline of the money available for grants, but well what if you look into history and former crises what people saw is that there is a slight decrease during the crisis but then actually they pick up most of the time they pick up again and you get more and more money available over the next coming years probably that will be related to European commission so European grant money there is no change at all because the budgets were fixed in 2006, 2007 till 2013 and they are now actually opening up novel grants or preparing a novel grant system which will be called FP8 or something similar and there they actually have six different significant increase of the budgets, I believe it'ss a 30% or 50% increase of the budget that they will have and what'ss also important is that the focus will be on small medium enterprises, because small medium enterprises are for the European Union kind of the driver of the economy and they want to stimulate it.
Fintan Walton:
Marc Van de Craen, thank you very much indeed for coming on the show.
Marc Van de Craen:
You'sre welcome.
Fintan Walton
Dr Fintan Walton is the Founder and CEO of PharmaVentures . After completing his doctoral research on the genetics of cell proliferation at the University of Michigan(US)and Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), Dr Walton gained broad commercial experience in biotechnology in management positions at Bass and Celltech plc (1982-1992).
Marc Van de Craen
PARTNER
Marc Van de Craen currently serves as Partner at BiotechSubsidy . Next to strategic consulting, Marc Van de Craen has created a partnership ( BiotechSubsidy) focusing on optimizing the subsidy management of biotech SMEs. This partnership was granted over 11 million Euro subsidy in Europe (regional and European subsidies), the US and Asia. Marc Van de Craen earned his Ph.D. in Biotechnology at the University of Ghent in 1998. Next he joined Devgen where he headed after a couple of years different departments for up to 3 line functions with one team based in Singapore. He also acted as a consultant for biotech companies (Ablynx). His specialties include biotechnology, project management, subsidies, pharmaceutical industry, agricultural industry and veterinary industry.
PharmaVentures
PharmaVentures is a corporate finance and transactions advisory firm that has served hundreds of clients worldwide in relation to their strategic deal making in the pharmaceutical, life science and healthcare sectors. Our key offerings include: Transactions / deal negotiations; Product / technology valuations; Deal term advice; Due diligence & expert reports; Strategy formulation; Alliance management; and Expert opinion for litigation/arbitration cases. PharmaVentures provides the global expertise to ensure our clients generate the highest possible return on investment from all their deal making activities. We have experience of all therapeutic areas and can offer advice on both product and technology commercialisation.
BiotechSubsidy
BiotechSubsidy represents over 60 years experience in pharma, plantbiotech and veterinary medicines. BiotechSubsidy is headquartered close to Brussels and in close contact with the European Commission. BiotechSubsidy'ss international consultancy team consists mainly of former directors in the biotech industry. The team was granted over 16 million Euro subsidy in Europe, the US and Asia. BiotechSubsidy provides services in English, German and Dutch.