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Berlin starting to catch up

An initiative to bolster the city's biotech industry is beginning to pay dividends

Ned Stafford(scientistnews@yahoo.com)

After years of lagging behind other domestic and international research hubs, the Berlin area is bolstering its biotech sector in the hope that it can one day match the strength of life science giants the United States and the United Kingdom.

Last week (November 15), BioTOP Berlin-Brandenburg, a government-sponsored organization promoting the region as a biotech center, held its annual "balance sheet" to tout the previous year's successes.

After the meeting, Kai Uwe Bindseil, director of BioTOP, told The Scientist that Berlin still has a long way to grow before reaching the level of centers in the United States and the United Kingdom. Nonetheless, he said, Berlin has made great progress in the past few years and is now near the level Munich and the areas of Heidelberg, Frankfurt, and Darmstadt.

"But it is not so important for us now which nose in this race is in first place,"...

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