Danish biotech boost through closer collaboration between Danish and British venture capital
The agreement between the Danish Fund for Industrial Growth and Merlin BioSciences (read news release from Merlin BioSciences here) provides a boost for the Danish biotech industry. The agreement is also the first clear result of active marketing of Denmark and a closer collaboration between Danish and British venture capital.
– I am sure the agreement with Merlin BioSciences will boost the Danish biotech industry. It is also an important breakthrough that an internationally acknowledged company is now investing in Denmark, says Elisabeth Manford, Director of Invest in Denmark.
In autumn 2003 Invest in Denmark mapped all major European, American and Asian venture companies with the aim of commencing targeted dialogue. Based on this dialogue Invest in Denmark ascertained that the foreign venture capitalists had very limited knowledge of Denmark and by and large no personal contacts. In recent months, Invest in Denmark has actively developed these relations – especially between Danish and British venture companies.
– The combination of international contacts and venture capital is a vital factor for continuous growth in the Danish biotech industry. Since the British capital market is the largest in Europe, we have especially concentrated on systematic marketing here via personal meetings and conferences which have led to closer relations and dialogue. It has created contact with Merlin BioSciences and large number of other British venture capital companies, says Gunnar Larsen, investment manager of Invest in Denmark in London.
Activities in the UK since autumn 2003
• October 2003: Invest in Denmark, London, initiates the ”Bridging Venture Capital” project with the purpose of building a bridge between Danish projects and foreign capital
• November 2003: Invest in Denmark holds the first meeting with Merlin BioSciences
• December 2003: Invest in Denmark introduces Merlin BioSciences to the Danish Fund for Industrial Growth and negotiations between the two parties begin immediately
• February 2004: Invest in Denmark completes the mapping of 160 UK based venture capitalists
• March 2004: The Danish Trade Council, represented by Invest in Denmark and the Commercial Department of the Royal Danish Embassy in London bring together the Danish innovation environment and venture capitalists for the conference ”Bridging Venture Capital”
• March 2004: The agreement between Merlin Biosciences and the Danish Fund for Industrial Growth is signed as a direct result of the contact in December
In April, Invest in Denmark and the Commercial Department of the Royal Danish Embassy in London will hold a further conference on venture opportunities, this time in collaboration with the other Scandinavian countries.
Invest in Denmark is a part of the Danish Trade Council in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and handles the task of attracting foreign investors to Denmark and helping them to become established.