Welsh Conservatives in the European Parliament
Dr Kay Swinburne MEP

Kay Swinburne hosts prestigious Biotech innovation awards, Brussels, 20.09.12

Wales MEP Kay Swinburne was the proud host of EuropaBio's 3rd Annual Most Innovative European Biotech SME Award at the European Parliament this week (September 19).
From a record 37 applicants for this year's award EuropaBio shortlisted five very impressive European SMEs, including one from the UK. The keynote speech was delivered by G.Steven Burrill, Founder and CEO of Burrill and Company and the event was also attended by Kay's fellow MEP Philippe De Backer among almost 100 other guests.
Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani was invited to present the award, which this year went to two winners due to the quality of applications and the high level of innovation on display.
The prize went to Global Bioenergies of France for its work in developing more efficient ways to convert renewable resources into chemical key building blocks and drop-in fuels. Also to ProtAffin AG of Austria who were recognised for their advanced stage in developing more effective therapies for key global diseases with major unmet needs.
Dr Swinburne said: "SMEs both in Wales and the wider EU hold the key to driving economic growth, so I am delighted to take this opportunity to host the awards and provide a showcase here in Brussels for high-tech SMEs and the invaluable contribution they are making to local economies. As someone who has worked closely with many of the leading high-tech SMEs in Wales I am very aware how important providing support to SMEs is.
"The EuropaBio SME platform provides an excellent example of how this can be done on a European level. 
At the awards, she highlighted the focus attributed to SMEs in EU policy-making - but she told the audience: "We must continue to work hard to ensure that future EU legislation reduces the administrative burdens placed upon SMEs and provides them with the access to finance that is needed to stimulate innovation and growth.
"We need to seek new ways of assisting our smaller innovative companies to access EU research funding, access the new Venture Capital Fund being set up by the EU, and as they grow, have access to European capital markets via the soon to be established SME Growth Market."
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The European Commission has today designated European Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status to the well-known Pembrokeshire Early Potato from West Wales.
The Pembrokeshire Early Potato was one of only three quality farm products whose applications for PGI status were approved today.
The EU PGI schemes protect product names against misuse and under these schemes more than 1200 products are already protected.
Commenting on this announcement from the European Commission today Dr Kay Swinburne MEP – who is from West Wales - said:
"I am delighted to see that this application to have "Pembrokeshire Earlies" added to the register of PGI products has been approved by the European Commission today."

"Achieving this prestigious status is a clear acknowledgment of the high-quality and distinctive produce we continue to deliver in Wales. Pembrokeshire Early Potatoes thoroughly deserve their place alongside the well-known food and drink products from right across the EU which already feature on the PGI register."


Kay was delighted to host an event to celebrate Higher Education, Science and Innovation in Wales last night in the European Parliament.  The event builds on the British Council’s “Strategic Analysis of the Welsh Higher Education Sector, Distinctive Assets”.  A number of experts spoke to share their views of Welsh HE at the event and how it can develop in the future.

In advance of the 'Fox-Hafner Report' vote on the single seat for the European Parliament, Kay and the other UK Conservative MEPs feel it is right to draw attention to the fact that the seven-year cost of the dual-seat arrangement comes to £928,000,000. Since her election to the European Parliament in 2009, Kay has strongly supported bringing the monthly Parliamentary meetings in Strasbourg to an end and therefore saving taxpayers a considerable sum of money.


Kay was delighted to meet Malala Yousafzai, who was awarded the EU's Sakharov Human Rights Prize at the European Parliament today.

Following Malala’s speech to the European Parliament, Kay said, “What an inspirational speech Malala gave to the Members of the European Parliament today. As a mother of young children myself, I hope that they can also aspire to achieve like her. Malala is an exceptional young lady who has overcome adversity by tremendous force of character and a passionate belief in the right of everybody to enjoy and benefit from education.”   


Kay was very pleased to meet with members of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Group at the European Parliament in Brussels, one of four groups set up in key Welsh research strengths to engage with EU research funds. The delegation visiting Brussels included representatives from Cardiff University, Bangor University, Swansea University and Trinity St.Davids University.

In advance of tomorrow's European Council meeting of leaders, Dr Swinburne has echoed the recommendations made in a recent report published by a number of business leaders, which highlights the importance of removing barriers to business competitiveness in Europe and getting rid of burdensome legislation by cutting EU red tape.

Last year Dr Swinburne encouraged businesses in Wales to highlight to the European Commission which over-burdensome regulations they would like to see slashed, by writing to small businesses all over Wales and asking them to tell her their red-tape problems.

Electronic cigarettes no longer face being taken off the shelves by the EU after Conservative MEPs were successful today in amending EU legislation on tobacco labelling.

Conservative MEP's led the amendment to defeat proposals that would have classified e-cigarettes as medicinal products, meaning they would have to undergo an overly burdensome and costly authorisation procedure, which would go beyond the procedures for traditional tobacco products... (Read more under 'Articles')



Welsh Conservative MEP Kay Swinburne has been sitting down with leaders in Europe's biotech field to choose the top five candidates to compete in this year's EuropaBio Most Innovative EU Biotech SME Award.

As a member of this year's judging committee, Kay is once again supporting the EuropaBio award, which has attracted applications from all three sectors of biotechnology - healthcare, industrial and agricultural, from across the EU... (Read more under 'Articles')


WELSH Conservative MEP Dr Kay Swinburne today hailed a vote in the European Parliament as a "wake-up call" in the battle to save Europe's endangered languages.

MEPs meeting in Strasbourg backed a report which calls on governments across the EU to develop action plans to encourage continued linguistic diversity.

The report, written by Corsican MEP François Alfonsi, also says governments should be "more attentive" to threats which may lead to languages becoming extinct.

Dr Swinburne, who was a shadow rapporteur for the report, has argued that Welsh can be seen as a positive example of language revitalisation which communities across the EU should follow... (Read more under 'Articles')

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