Webinar - India and Belgium - Covid-19 Vaccines & Therapeutics 07/12/2020

The Consulate General of Belgium in Chennai and the Honorary Consulate of Belgium in Hyderabad, in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Flanders Investment and Trade (FIT), Wallonia Export & Investment Agency (AWEX) and Brussels Invest & Export (HUB) are organizing a high-level online Seminar titled on 08 December 2020 from 1600 – 1830 hrs IST.

This virtual event titled “Building Partnerships Between India and Belgium for the Coherent Dissemination of Covid-19 Vaccines & Therapeutics in Europe and the World”. Along with high-level introductions and keynote addresses, the subject will be explored through two panels:

A first panel “Belgium – Your Innovative Vaccines and Therapeutics & Lifesciences Hub in Europe” aims to provide more insights on the strengths and opportunities of the general Belgian biotech ecosystem and its quick response in terms of Covid-19 research and vaccine development, as well as other therapeutic areas beyond Covid-19.

A second panel “Covid-19 Vaccines and Therapeutics – From Inception to Safe and Efficient Global Distribution” will look into the different ways Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics will find their way to their end-users through a robust and bullet-proof integrated supply chain alongside a solid and reliable air cargo capacity. The seminar will provide exclusive insights in the Belgian expertise in this field – including by representatives of the airports of Liege and Brussels which will both play a key global role in this.

The target audience includes vaccine companies, pharma companies, ecosystem players in the field of life sciences, industry associations, research bodies, innovation players, cargo businesses, airline companies and all relevant actors in the R&D and the global distribution aspects of Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics.

Event details:

Date: Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Time: 1600 – 1830 hrs IST | 1130 – 1400 hrs CET

Duration: 2 hour 30 minutes

Registration link: https://www.ciihive.in/SignUp.aspx?EventId=VACCINE


  • Mr Mark Van de Vreken – Consul General of Belgium in Chennai
  • Mr G V Prasad – Honorary Consul of Belgium in Hyderabad, Chairman CII National Committee on Pharmaceuticals, and co-Chairman & Managing Director Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories

Keynote speakers

  • Dr Rajesh Jain – Chairman CII National Committee on Biotechnology & Managing Director Panacea Biotec
  • Dr Ajit Shetty – Chairman, Flemish Institute of Biotechnology (VIB), Chairman Mithra, Honorary Chairman, Janssen Pharmaceutica, Former Global Head Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain
  • Mr Mahima Datla – Managing Director & CEO Biological E
  • Dr Pankaj Bhatnagar – Acting Team Lead National Public Health Surveillance Project (NPSP) at WHO Country Office for India
  • Dr Srinath Reddy – President Public Health Foundation of India

Speakers Panel 1: “Belgium - Your Innovative Vaccines and Therapeutics & Lifesciences Hub in Europe

  • Mr Willem Dhooge – Co-General Manager at Flanders Bio
  • Mr Marc Dechamps – Director International Affairs Biowin
  • Mr Cédric Volanti – President Biopharma Solutions Novasep Group
  • Mr Gagan Singh – Managing Director Astrazeneca
  • Moderator: Mr R Srinivasan, Former Editor-in-chief The Hindu Businessline

Speakers Panel 2: “Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics - from inception to safe and efficient global distribution

  • Mr Nathan Devalck – Head of Cargo Product & Route Development Brussels Airport Company
  • Mr Bert Selis – Cargo and Logistics Development Manager Liege Airport
  • Mr Franck Toussaint – Founder Bio Supply Chain Management Alliance
  • Dr Krishna Ella – Chairman & Managing Director Bharat Biotech International
  • Moderator: Mrs Tineke Van Hooland, Deputy Secretary General bio.be

Background Note

India and Belgium are two global players in the fields of life sciences, vaccines and pharmaceuticals / therapeutics and should therefore be strategic partners in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.


It is commonly known that India produces 60% of the world’s vaccines and accounts for 60-80% of the UN’s annual vaccine procurement. India’s medical research institutes and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies have been rapidly expanding their already voluminous production capacities and are accelerating the development of vaccines in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. In September 2020, in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that to help all humanity, India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used in fighting the pandemic.

Beginning of December 2020, 10 vaccine candidates have been supported by the Indian Department of Biotechnology (DBT) at both academia and industry and 5 vaccine candidates are currently in human trials. Recently, the Government of India has announced a new stimulus package of Rs. 900 crore (around 100 million euros) as the Phase 1 of the Indian Covid-19 Vaccine Development Mission, which will help the development of indigenous, affordable and accessible vaccines. This initiative, called Mission Covid Suraksha, has an end-to-end focus from preclinical development through clinical development as well as manufacturing and regulatory facilitation for deployment and dissemination of vaccines.

On the other hand, with over 200 innovative pharma businesses including world-renowned companies such as UCB, Janssen Pharmaceutica, GSK, Pfizer and Baxter, Belgium is the EU’s second largest pharmaceuticals exporter. The country stands second in the EU in terms of clinical trials per inhabitant and is a world-class player in terms of R&D, with an internationally competitive research infrastructure and support mechanisms fostering international and regional collaborative research projects. The health and life sciences in Belgium are continually expanding sectors and, since the beginning of the pandemic, the different stakeholders have proven their agility to bring solutions at every stage of the development of Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics.

Belgium is also centrally located in the European continent and connected to Europe and the world thanks to a highly developed logistics infrastructure of airports, roads, railways and ports. Liege Airport was recently voted as best cargo hub in the world and has been selected by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of 8 hubs worldwide for the distribution of Covid-19 medical supplies. Brussels Airport is the first airport ever to receive the “IATA Excellence in Pharmaceutical Handling” certificate and has 30.000 square meters of temperature controlled pharmaceutical warehouses.

The aim of this high-level online seminar, with top speakers from both countries’ pharma, vaccines, life sciences and logistics industries, is to explore further possible partnerships between India and Belgium through an efficient supply chain of Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics that are stable and meet the quality assurance standards in order to be distributed safely and globally.

A first panel will provide more insights on the strengths and opportunities of the general Belgian biotech ecosystem. Through the testimonials of Belgian Innovation Clusters and companies involved in their respective local production of vaccines and therapeutics, the panel will illustrate the agility of the Belgian ecosystem that has led to a quick reply in Covid-19 research and development. It will also give an overview of its resilience in the development and production of other therapeutic areas beyond Covid-19 in which Belgium plays a key role such as cell & gene therapy.

A second panel will look into the different ways Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics will find their way from their inception via a safe and efficient global distribution to their end-users. This will require highly specialized approaches towards transportation, large cold storage facilities and experiences professionals. The seminar will provide exclusive insights in the Belgian expertise in this field – including by representatives of the airports of Liege and Brussels.

More information:

Strenghts of the Life Sciences Ecosystem in Belgium-Wallonia

Biologistics Industry in Belgium-Wallonia