Against Unfair Competition

In the summer of 2007, BIO Deutschland’s Working Group on Competition and Regulatory Policy made a firm statement on the subject of unfair competition. Research funding should not be at the expense of valuable jobs in innovative small and medium-sized biotechnology companies. Should the funding of equipment lead to universities and other public institutions being able to carry out many services that to date have been purchased on the free market and to provide these services internally or to third parties on the free market, then it is possible that jobs will be lost in the private sector.

It is conceivable that some public institutions currently offer services and routine procedures without being conscious of the risk of unfair competition. In order to counteract this danger, the association wrote to research institutes and universities, as well as to Land and Federal Ministries, to inform them about certain unfair competition structures. The conducting of routine tests in the field of DNA sequencing, which is offered at prices that are considerably lower than those of private companies, was given as a concrete example. The undercutting of private-market competitors is largely made possible because the calculation of costs does not take into account pro rata the fixed costs for the resources funded by public spending.

In the future, the working group will deal with a suggestion for the adaptation of tender criteria by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and with the introduction of a code of conduct for the prevention of unfair competition measures for applicants and experts.

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