Findings of the survey of companies 2012/2013
Despite having lower expectations for the future, the biotechnology sector regards its current situation as better than last year. German companies’ willingness to invest is increasingly significantly. However, companies are planning lower investments in human resources than they did last year. The sector regards the political parameters for biotechnology companies as worse than in early 2012. These were the findings of a survey by the biotechnology industry association, BIO Deutschland, in cooperation with the sector magazine |transkript. The figures were presented at a press conference in Berlin today.
Expenditure on research and development (R&D) is set to increase to an even greater extent than it did in previous years. At an index value of 96.1 points (+2.35 points), the willingness to invest in R&D has reached its highest level since 2006. New systems for processing biological data and ever faster and more affordable genome research have given companies a technological boost in recent years.
However, the increasing willingness to invest does not apply to personnel costs, which are expected to rise less this year (-2.26 points to an index value of 92.52 points) than they did in 2012. Traditionally, small and medium-sized enterprises have outsourced expensive processes such as clinical research to specialised companies. Given tight budgets, it is likely that this trend will continue to increase.
In line with a longstanding trend, biotech companies’ positive evaluation of the current business situation rose once again in 2012 (+0.3 points to an index value of 96.49 points). This is the most positive value since the crisis year of 2008. However, companies are more cautious in their evaluation of the future business situation: this index value decreased by 1.37 points to 90.99 points.
The sector is increasingly critical of the political climate in Germany. The index value for this factor was 91.7 points (-2.05 points), the second lowest value since 2006. An ever smaller number of companies believe that the parameters will change in the future. Expectations of the future were also lower at 84.65 points (-3.28 points).
Peter Heinrich, Chairman of the Board of BIO Deutschland, summed up the survey findings as follows: “Although the financial crisis is not over yet, German biotech companies have reached a top technological position with their own products and innovative projects.”
Andreas Mietzsch, editor of |transkript, said: “The bioeconomy is taking on a concrete form although it is more an evolution than a revolution at the moment. Nonetheless, sustainable processes are slowly but steadily gaining acceptance. Industry’s interest in biotechnological expertise is greater than ever.”
Viola Bronsema, Managing Director of BIO Deutschland, commented: “German biotechnology companies are able to withstand the crisis. However, the political support promised by the government has yet to be seen.”
The individual index values were as follows:
- Current business situation: +0.3 points to 96.49 points
- Expectations of the future business situation: -1.37 points to 90.99 points
- R&D investment index: +2.35 points to 96.1 points
- Employment index: -2.26 points to 92.52 points
- Current political parameters: -2.05 points to 91.7 points
- Future political parameters: -3.28 points to 84.65 points