Spanish biotechnology continues to grow

2016 was a year of great positive impact for biotechnology in Spain, both economically and socially. Three figures from the latest ASEBIO Report, presented on 26 July in Madrid, clearly show this: the biotechnology sector generates 8.6% of the GDP, nearly one million jobs and €578 million in internal R&D expenditure. Plus, the sector attracted €127 million in investment and forged 158 strategic alliances. Spanish Minister of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness Luis de Guindos, who participated in the event, said, “The government is aware that we must give more support to research, as it creates highly qualified jobs and generates wealth.”

If we look more closely at these figures, we can see that the sector saw total revenue of €90 billion in 2015, down from 2014 when it was on par with tourism (10.35% of the GDP, as we explained in this post). Biotechnology companies contributed more than 930,000 positions to the job market, up 2.6%, which is higher than the average for the Spanish economy as a whole (2.1%). Internal R&D expenditure also increased, up 8.31%, to hit an all-time high.

“Our business initiatives need intensive knowledge, investment and long timelines to maturity. This is why we still need special attention: quality regulations that give us the security we need and make our sector attractive, attention to our special funding needs and a firm commitment to public-private collaboration as a successful formula with which we must carry on,” highlighted ASEBIO President Jordi Martí.

Catalonia continues to lead the sector

In Spain, there are 2,981 companies involved in activities associated with biotechnology, according to data from 2015, 8.72% more than the previous year. Of these, 654 are strictly biotech firms and their main activity is in human health and food.

By regions, the greatest concentration of business is still in Catalonia (17.3%), followed by Andalusia (14.7%) and Madrid (10.1%). In terms of entrepreneurship, in 2016 there were 43 new biotechnology firms set up and Andalusia has the most (10) followed by Catalonia (9), the Basque Country (5) and Madrid (4).

Bioibérica, more patents and publications

Regarding patent applications submitted and granted, in 2016 there were 813 patents published in the biotechnology sector, which is down slightly (11%). The business sector continues to be the main patent stakeholder and Bioibérica is among the top 20 companies in this regard, with 4 patents (see page 35 of the report).

Biotechnology companies that are ASEBIO members published a total of 163 scientific papers. The main contributors are BTI Biotechnology Institute (33), PharmaMar (19 publicaciones), Pangaea Oncology (16), Promega Biotech (13), Bioibérica (11) and Amgen (9).

The ASEBIO Report is compiled yearly by the Spanish Bioindustry Association, which Bioibérica is a member of, and reflects the latest data on the sector.

On Twitter with the hashtag #InformeASEBIO2016.

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