COVID-19 shows that cooperation is needed – like nothing else

2021-03-30
COVID-19 shows that cooperation is needed – like nothing else

The world has radically changed within just one year. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed countries to cooperate closer than ever before, yet there is still plenty of room for improvement. The whole world right now has one common enemy. Countries can – and must – work together to fight it.

Germany leads the way in the EU. But simply leading is not enough. Germany must work with other Europe countries, like Lithuania, to develop industries, such as engineering, IT and healthcare. Only with progress and discovery in these sectors can the world hope to combat the coronavirus.

Sharing knowledge and experience is not difficult

Sharing knowledge is vital – especially when it comes to healthcare and biotechnologies. In these industries, the world needs effective solutions as soon as possible. Such rapidity can be achieved by working together. Take, for instance, the development of the Covid-19 vaccine. Cooperation between the German company BioNTech and U.S. pharmacy giant Pfizer. was one of the main reasons why such a quick result was achieved.

However, there is plenty of room for collaboration within the European Union. For example, Germany is currently using gene therapy to treat a whole host of diseases, however Lithuania is developing a world-class CRISPR-Cas technology, which could fuel significant advancements in medicine by eliminating individual genes or even entire chromosomes from an organism at any point in its development.

Building on each other’s strengths.

As demonstrated by the case of Pfizer and BioNTech, countries often have different strengths that can be merged and used for good. One potential partner for German biotech companies is Lithuania. The country has EU-leading higher education numbers, and the life sciences sector is accelerating faster than almost anywhere else in Europe. In fact, during 2020 it registered 22% growth and 40 new startups in thefield. . Lithuania plans to have over 500 biotech startups with a combined turnover of 3-4 billion euros by 2030.

And while there is plenty of government support and highly skilled talent in Lithuania’s biotech sector, local investments are too small to bring about significant change internationally. That is where Germany could step in. In 2020, German biotech companies raised a record of three billion Euros,which is more than the entire Baltic region combined. Germany is Europe’s number one healthcare market, too. Any a relationship between the two countries that developed innovation in the biotechnology sector would benefit everybody. Indeed, Lithuania’s knowledge in medtech, 3D printing and sensor development could definitely be put to use by German companies.

There is only one way out

The pandemic has already had some positive impacts. It became easier for companies to collaborate and share data on how to improve productivity and work output. All that is left now is to seize the best of this digital era and the record-breaking investments that the biotech sector is receiving right now. The topic of cooperating to develop innovations in the pharma/biotechnology industry will be explored in an online German-Lithuanian economic forum on May 31st. Here panelists will be invited to discuss how EU member states can help each other to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of gene therapy. Want to learn more or register for the event? You can do so here.

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