The latest figures published 30 May 2006 compare biotechnology sectors across some 18 European nations and the US. The report finds that European and US biotechnology industries both have around 2000 companies, but the US sector employs nearly twice as many people, spends around three times as much on research and development, raises over twice as much venture capital, and has access to 10 times as much debt finance. It also earns twice as much revenue.
According to John Hodgson, Partner at Critical I - a specialist biotechnology consultancy – who authored the study: "Venture capital is a luxury. Less than 10% of European companies win venture funds each year. But it is an indispensable luxury. Only properly capitalised companies can hope to compete globally in knowledge-intensive industries like biotechnology."
The report shows that Europe's science base is inventive, and the establishment of over 100 new biotechnology firms across Europe in 2004 is testimony to the fact that its inventors are entrepreneurial, too. However, the practicalities of funding innovation, whether in science or in business, are currently confounding the good intentions and enthusiasm", says John Hodgson.
This study identified 2,163 European biotechnology companies whose primary commercial activity was in biotechnology.
For more information, please visit www.europabio.org.