“Plenty of opportunities for more growth”

He is the coordinator of the Export Initiative “Health Made in Germany”, Vice-Chairman of the German-Israeli Life Science Committee (GILSC), and Senior Manager Health Care of Germany Trade in Invest: Tilo Mandry’s responsibilities reflect his expertise in life sciences. We talked with him about chances and challenges of German-Israeli life science cooperation.

Dr. Mandry – some years ago, Israel was regarded as a small, regionally isolated country, famous for its Jaffa oranges. Nevertheless you began to support German-Israeli cooperation in the field of life sciences …

The Israeli market is more interesting than one might think at first glance. It has a high purchasing power. Furthermore, its legal framework is very transparent. There are no legal variables you might not be aware of.

...and Israel is a high-tech country.

Exactly, and German companies know that. Over the years German companies have become more and more aware of the structure of the Israeli market and the strength of the Israeli life science industry. Furthermore, both Germany and Israel serve as stepping stone for other markets.

What is the intention of "Health Made in Germany“ in Israel?

Basically, the program "Health Made in Germany“ is supposed to help German companies in particular with entering new markets, like the Israeli one. In the end both Germany and Israel will benefit from the program as we try to foster a dialogue between the companies and to strengthen long-run partnerships instead of solely supporting one-sided product sales. We actually get lots of requests from Israeli companies that would like to cooperate with Germans.

Both sides seem to aspire towards bilateral cooperation. Where is the obstacle then?

Financing is becoming more and more difficult. That holds for both German and Israeli companies and is especially true for biotechnology. But there are many public programs, in Israel as well as in Germany, and also bilateral ones. Many companies, however, do not know about these programs, their deadlines and their requirements. .

Sounds like a grim projection....

Well, it’s not. I am convinced that in the future we can create far more dialogue between the two sides and that numerous opportunities will exist in which the very innovative Israeli companies will find suitable partners in Germany. Together they will create adequate sales channels. The biomanufacturing conference in November 2011, organized by AHK Israel, showed the Israeli companies, yet again, which opportunities to work at eye level with German biomanufacturing companies exist. There are many chances to develop products jointly while conserving resources. I also expect that the German industry will tackle the Israeli market more powerfully, as their presence is currently not strong enough.

Who, in the field of life sciences, still needs to discover Israel for themselves?

The small and medium-sized companies have not found their positioning in Israel yet. This applies to many different fields, for example to the pharmaceutical industry or the biotechnological industry. It is looking brighter in the field of medical technology but here too there are far more opportunities for growth and expansion.