The digital START-UP FORUM offers young founders who are active in industrial biotech-nology and bioeconomy strong visibility among the international EFIB attendees, representing sector stakeholders from companies, academics, SMEs, investors, policy makers, NGOs and media. 

LISAvienna encourages start-ups to apply

Start-ups from the following areas are invited to apply for a live pitch:

  • Green. Circular. Sustainable.
  • Food, Feed & Nutrition
  • Fashion & Textiles
  • Materials & Packaging
  • Bioprocesses & Technologies

Participation in the digital Start-up Forum includes:

  • Company profile in the digital EFIB Stakeholder guide on bio-based innovation
  • Up to 3 full access tickets for company representatives, incl access to the 1:1 virtual partnering
  • Opportunity to be selected for a 10-minute pitch in the Start-up Pitch live session on Monday, 5 October (live jury voting: the best start-up will receive a 1:1 jury member coaching meeting)
  • Opportunity to be selected for a 10-minute presentation in another EFIB programme session
  • Participation in the 3-month-“Start-up Remote Programme” with individual webinars for all start-ups from 20 October to 15 December 2020 and a final virtual EFIB start-up showcase event in January 2021.

How to apply

Start-ups active in industrial biotechnology and bioeconomy with a business focus on new bio-based technologies, services or industrial applications relevant for the above areas/sectors mentioned are invited to apply for a free space in the digital Start-up Forum.

Application deadline: 16 September 2020

Your application should include a pitchdeck (PDF with a max. of 25 slides) with the following information:

  • Business idea & state of science/technology & development phase of the bio-based solution
  • Targeted application area(s)/sector & market volume
  • Overview of the top (3–5) competitors & your differentiation
  • Current financial status & outlook of next milestones (3+ years)
  • Overview of funding team & management

Further information is available at

For researchers: Call for poster abstract is open

EFIB 2020 will showcase innovative scientific approaches in the area of industrial biotechnology and the bioeconomy on the digital event platform. We cordially invite scientists from SMEs and academic institutions to submit an abstract for a digital poster presentation. 

The abstract submission deadline is 16 September.

The digital poster pages will be linked to the sessions in the programme so that attendees will receive a quick and easy overview of relevant content. In addition, attendees can easily connect or book virtual 1:1 meetings with the authors via the digital conference platform.

The poster presentations should address one or more of the following topics:

  • Material innovation (e.g. bio-based innovation in the area of plastics, plastic alternatives and packaging in relevant industry areas such as textiles & fashion, Food & Beverages, Cosmetics & Architecture & Construction)
  • Food, feed and nutrition (e.g. novel bio-based solutions for nutrition, novel ingredients & flavours, cultured meat approaches and plant-based innovation, novel food production processes, innovative feed solutions, feed additives, usage of new raw materials and biological resources)
  • New tools/instruments for the bio-based industry (e.g. synthetic biology, genome editing, metabolic engineering, digital solutions, artificial intelligence, big data)
  • Bioprocesses & Technologies: (e.g. novel approaches in fermentation processes & advancements of bioreactors, use of novel feedstocks such as waste streams, biorefineries and circular economy approaches)
  • Green Economy, Circular Economy, Circular Bioeconomy (e.g. bio-based innovation concepts, biorefineries, SDG-related innovation, evaluation processes, validation & monitoring of bio-based innovation and sustainability criteria)
  • Financing & Investing (e.g Evaluation of trends in Sustainable Finance, Impact Investing, role of bioeconomy/biotechnology in ESG reporting)

Further details on the EFIB Digital Innovation Campus are available at

On September 1, 2020, Philipp Hainzl will succeed longstanding Managing Director Peter Halwachs as representative of the Vienna Business Agency on the board of the Vienna life sciences platform LISAvienna. He and Johannes Sarx from the Austrian promotional bank Austria Wirtschaftsservice (aws) are now jointly responsible for the life science cluster.

Commenting on his new area of responsibility, Philipp Hainzl said, “LISAvienna is one of the most important initiatives designed to bolster the life sciences in Vienna. Since 2002, the cluster platform has helped to ensure that new knowledge is implemented in innovative products, services and processes. To this end, we offer free consulting, organize events, accompany start-ups to trade events, analyze data and promote Vienna around the world as a center for innovation. We are optimally positioned for this at the interface between the Federal Government’s and Vienna’s economic development agencies.” Asked about his plans for the future, he replied: “The life sciences sector is experiencing very dynamic growth in Vienna, and this will continue to be reflected in our activities. For example, we intend to take further targeted measures to promote the growing digital health sector, where we are focusing on innovative applications that fall under medical device regulations. We are also committed to providing additional laboratory space for start-ups in Vienna.”

“I welcome the Vienna Business Agency’s decision to appoint Philipp Hainzl as my co-Managing Director at LISAvienna. We will do our utmost to ensure that the Austrian biotech, pharmaceutical, medical devices and digital health sector can continue to develop its full economic and social potential”, said Johannes Sarx. He adds, “At the same time, I would like to thank Peter Halwachs for his excellent work over the past ten years. His outstanding personal commitment and expertise have enabled LISAvienna to position itself effectively in the field of medical devices over the long term.” As head of the Seed financing department at aws, Johannes Sarx is responsible for the strategic planning and implementation of measures that contribute to the economic implementation of start-up ideas in the fields of high technology, innovative business models and services, and which strengthen Austria as a business location. He has been representing aws as Managing Director of the Vienna life sciences platform LISAvienna since 2010.

Peter Halwachs will be taking over as Head of the Business Support Department at the Vienna Business Agency on September 1, 2020. In his new role, he will support Viennese companies in setting up or relocating in Vienna, assist in dealing with public authorities and inform about financing and funding opportunities. “It has been an exciting ten years at LISAvienna. I would like to thank the entire team at LISAvienna and my co-Managing Director Johannes Sarx for the successful collaboration. Working together with companies and research institutions, we were able to achieve important milestones and bring greater visibility to Vienna as an excellent place for the life sciences. I wish my successor Philipp Hainzl all the best and will continue to keep an open ear for the concerns of life sciences companies in the future as well.”

About Philipp Hainzl

Philipp Hainzl will represent the Vienna Business Agency in a management capacity at the Vienna life sciences platform LISAvienna starting in September 2020. As head of the Business Agency’s life sciences team, he also helps shape strategic decisions on the future development of this sector in Vienna. Philipp Hainzl is responsible for the Vienna Business Agency’s Startup Labs at the Vienna BioCenter and is committed to providing additional laboratory space for companies in Vienna. His career path so far has taken him from academic research via biotech start-ups and all the way to “big pharma”. In addition to a broad knowledge base gained from his degree in genetic engineering & biotechnology, he brings valuable experience in biotech and pharmaceutical management, lean management and process optimization and in sales and customer support to LISAvienna.

About LISAvienna

LISAvienna is a joint life science platform operated by Austria Wirtschaftsservice and the Vienna Business Agency. On behalf of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs and the City of Vienna, it contributes to the advancement of life sciences in Vienna. LISAvienna supports innovative biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device and digital health companies in Vienna that develop and market new products, services and processes. The platform links these companies with development partners and key customers. As a central knowledge carrier, LISAvienna provides input for decisions to advance the life sciences in Vienna and contributes to positioning the city of Vienna as one of the leading European innovation centers.



LISAvienna’s co-owner Austria Wirtschaftsservice invests in the KHAN Technology Transfer Fund I GmbH & Co KG (KHAN-I) to foster translational research in Austrian life sciences. Exciting new findings and hypotheses will undergo systematic and professional testing and validation.


The KHAN-I fund focuses on innovative projects that have a clear potential for creating new therapeutic modalities in indications with an unmet medical need. The results are prototypes of new drugs that have a high chance for further development and commercialization. A total of € 60 million is available for promising new drug discovery projects inspired by cutting-edge research. The European Investment Fund contributes half the money. In Austria, the Austria Wirtschaftsservice with funds provided by the Österreich-Fonds and the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs, and the Max Planck Foundation in Germany, act as co-investors.


Proposals can be submitted as of now. In Austria, the newly founded wings4innovation GmbH, located in Vienna, is your contact point.


Researchers whose ideas and approaches are taken to the next level by KHAN-I will be on board as collaboration partners. Projects will be managed by the fund and the necessary experiments will be carried out in collaboration with experienced partners such as the Lead Discovery Center and contract research organizations. In case of positive results, drug candidates will be out-licensed or become the cornerstone of start-ups. Researchers and their home scientific institutions will have a share in the fund’s proceeds. The biggest benefit however is with the patients: At the end of the day, our society will benefit much faster from research than is the case today.


Download further details at