Biotech "Uneven" in New EU Member States

Oct 01, 2009
By Pharmaceutical Executive

A new report evaluating the biotechnology sector in new European Union member states and candidate countries has described developments as "uneven" because of contrasting economic strategies. The report, Biotech in the New EU Member States: An Emerging Sector, published by EuropaBio and Venture Valuation in collaboration with national stakeholders, examines the biotech industry across the 12 newest EU member states, as well as candidate countries Turkey and Croatia.

The report describes the biotech sector in the new member states and candidate countries as "young and immature." There is a need for "a critical mass of innovation, support, resources in terms of manpower and financial means to allow countries to flourish," it adds.

However, some new EU member states have established a flourishing biotech sector; Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Estonia were identified as having the highest number of biotech companies and the most developed biotech sectors. The report describes them as "already on par with some Western European countries" and explained that these countries moved into biotech early on and established a "coherent framework for biotechnology and innovation."

But the report goes on to reveal an "overall lack of awareness and information on available resources both at EU and national levels" and, in some cases, a lack of funding opportunities. Other highlighted barriers included an unfavorable environment for product commercialization, lack of awareness of IP protection rights, and the fact that the majority of R&D is conducted at universities and collaboration with industry is rather limited.

www.europabio.org