BIO Deutschland Pledges its Support for the National Research Strategy, BioEconomy 2030
The sector association of the biotechnology industry, BIO Deutschland, welcomes the National Research Strategy, BioEconomy 2030. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research presented a new research programme in Berlin, which aims at nothing less than helping Germany to become a “technological leader and pioneer in the solution of global challenges”. The research strategy “aspires to a materials cycle oriented bio-based economy that is in harmony with technology and ecology”.
The particular importance of biotechnology as a driving force for the five central fields of action described in the document is recognised: global food security, sustainable agricultural production, healthy and safe foodstuffs, the use of renewable resources, and biomass-based energy sources. The Federal Research Ministry expressly mentioned the important role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for the bio-economy in safeguarding a continual supply of innovations. It stated that they serve as generators of innovation in introducing new technologies into traditional sectors, also in joint projects and networks with large concerns and scientific partners.
Peter Heinrich, Chairman of the Board of BIO Deutschland, emphasised that the new research strategy also clearly indicates the need to improve the parameters for innovative SMEs. “However, the identification of the current lack of equity capital available to biotech companies and the ‘underdeveloped risk and investment capital markets in Germany’ should only be the first step in the government rapidly undertaking the urgently needed changes in economic policy,” Heinrich said.
“In order to at least maintain or, preferably, to strengthen the innovative strength of all German biotechnology companies, better parameters for private investments in research and development (R&D) are needed,” Viola Bronsema, Managing Director of BIO Deutschland, urged. She said that investments in R&D could be facilitated by measures such as loss carry-forward irrespective of income or tax rebates for reinvestment of profits (rollover) for equity capital investors. Bronsema added that the innovative companies themselves rely on unlimited retention of loss carry-forward becoming possible, as well as on the granting of tax credits in certain cases.
“BIO Deutschland will be very pleased to play an important role in implementing the vision of the new National Research Strategy BioEconomy 2030, which is an integral part of the Federal Government’s High-tech Strategy,” Heinrich underlined. He added, “We share the vision that ‘Germany will become a bio-economy location in 2030, in which the results from food and engineering sciences will be received with openness, curiosity and enthusiasm, and (bio)technical progress and globalisation will be regarded as opportunities.’” Heinrich pointed out that Germany’s biotech sector is already working on medications with fewer side effects; clean, CO2-neutral production processes; optimised agricultural products and healthier food. In addition, it creates sustainable, highly qualified jobs with strong local links. These companies thus build a bridge between the economy and ecology and make an important and sustainable contribution to the enduring economic strength of Germany and Europe.