A strong network

Independent representation of interests, professional exchange and promotion of start-ups

BioRiver is the largest industry association of the biotech and life science industry in North Rhine-Westphalia. Our members are the leading companies at the location, from start-ups to global corporations, universities and academic research institutions, service providers and suppliers, as well as the stakeholders of the industry.

We offer our members a strong network for professional and political engagement and a high-calibre platform for exchange at eye level. The commitment of its members is what sets BioRiver e.V. apart.

Our goal is to network the existing excellent capacities in science and business and to demand and create the framework conditions under which real innovation and economic dynamism can emerge in biotechnology and life sciences.


As early as the first federal competition in 1996, the Rhineland was selected as one of three locations throughout Germany where the then young biotech industry was to be specifically promoted and could prosper. Today, scientific excellence in the life sciences, medicine, medical technology, engineering and computer science at the university locations of Aachen/Jülich, Bonn, Düsseldorf and Cologne meets Germany’s leading biotech and pharmaceutical companies such as Bayer, Qiagen, Miltenyi Biotec and Grünenthal. Institutional investors such as NRW.BANK and broad business angel and expert networks are committed to the growing innovative companies in the industry.

Since the founding of BioRiver e.V. on 30 June 2004, experienced managing directors from the life science sector, renowned scientists and important stake-holders have been involved in the BioRiver board and membership.

From 2009-2019, under the leadership of its long-standing CEO Dr Jürgen Schumacher, BioRiver, together with its partner associations CLIB 2021 e.V. and VCI NRW e.V. as a bidding consortium, facilitated the establishment and successful work of the state cluster for biotechnology BIO.NRW, including as a shareholder of BIO.NRW GmbH, and during this time provided important assistance in the establishment of the state-wide open-topic life science network with the conception of the BIO.NRW.academy.

BioRiver has been making a name for itself in start-up promotion since 2014 and has set up its own supra-regional format for the early networking of start-ups and established groups with BioRiver Boost! Initiated by the 2018 General Assembly, member exchange in member forums and working groups has been at the centre of our activities since 2019.

Since 9 December 2019, Dr Boris Stoffel, Managing Director of Miltenyi Biotec N.V. & Co. KG has been the chairman of BioRiver e.V.


Our political initiatives – commitment to forward-looking economic planning

NRW BioRegions

Regular exchange of information between the state cluster BIO.NRW Home of Biotech, the regional associations and initiatives for life sciences in NRW and the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs, Biotechnology Department. BioRiver participates through its Managing Director.

NRW Life Sciences Associations

Exchange of information between the boards of the professional associations for life sciences and biotechnology in North Rhine-Westphalia BioRiver-Life Science im Rheinland e.V., BioIndustry e.V., Bioanalytik Münster e.V. and MedLife Aachen-Jülich e.V. Initiative of the BioRiver Board. BioRiver participates through members of the executive board and the managing director.

Municipal economic policy

Through close exchange with the economic development agencies of the member municipalities, BioRiver introduces life science topics, advises through the technical expertise of the board and members and improves the visibility of the life sciences in the Rhineland.


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Application period 01.06.2023 – 15.08.2023