Networking isn’t limited to a specific action; it is a way of viewing business, of experiencing the professional world, of thinking and acting. It requires attitude changesthat lead companies and their professionals to think strategically and do so on a daily basis, integrating this new way of doing business into all of the company’s activities.
Thus, Marta Palicio of Oryzon highlights that they apply networking to many aspects of their business, like making potential international partners more aware of the company, establishing different types of contacts, and seeking out partners for specific projects or in and out licenses. One example of this work is an agreement reached recently with a pharmaceutical company from New Zealand to develop a product to diagnose bladder cancer. They first made contact with this company at BIO-Europe(the top European partnering congress in the sector), although, as Palicio points out, “we later consolidated this relationship through online networking.)
Experts highly recommend this system because, as Jordi Robert-Ribes explains, “without the second step, building the network, the first is worthless. You’ll only be left with a collection of business cards but not any contacts that can truly benefit the company or to whom you can be of service.”
Of all the assets that networking brings to a company, two are fundamental: innovation and survival. Regarding innovation, a study published in the Harvard Business Review in 2009 shows how this is one of the five characteristics that all CEOs at innovative companies have in common. Furthermore, there are companies that wouldn’t have survived without networking, a fact confirmed by international studies like that carried out by the University of Cologne in 2006, which showed how companies born out of start-ups in the biotechnology sector have survived because they have been able to diversify their network of contacts.
Thus, Jordi Robert-Ribes has clear advice for companies: diversify your contact base. “In our country companies from any field normally focus their professional relationships on others from the same sector. It is difficult for them to contact people from fields that are very different from their own and this must be improved. The more diverse your contacts, the more valuable your network will be.”
A list of the top international fairs and congresses in the sector is available in the Events sections of the Biocat website.