Government Recognition for Biotechnology as an Engine for Economic Growth in Germany

Julia Klöckner (centre) during her visit to Ganymed Pharmaceuticals  AG in Mainz and tour of its laboratories.
Julia Klöckner (centre) during her visit to Ganymed Pharmaceuticals AG in Mainz and tour of its laboratories.

BIO Deutschland warmly welcomed the clear statement by the Federal Government in August on the potential and importance of the biotech industry for Germany as a business location. In a series of publications on its online portal, the Federal Government affirmed that it wanted to make Germany the top location for biotechnology in Europe. The government added that it aimed to identify and remove obstacles to growth.

Julia Klöckner, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, underlined this during a visit to the biotech company Ganymed Pharmaceuticals AG in Mainz on 19 August. The CDU candidate for the office of Governor of Rhineland-Palatinate visited companies in the region as part of her four-week tour of the federal state. She discussed the contributions made by innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) to alleviating and curing cancer with Rainer Wessel, a member of the board of BIO Deutschland and spokesman for the executive management of Ganymed AG. Furthermore, the topic of funding research and development (R&D) in innovative firms was raised.

A quarter to a third of all companies specialising in biotechnology are currently funded at least partially by equity capital. However, investors have been increasingly withdrawing from the field for years. As a result, better parameters for providers of equity capital are needed. Wessel gave a presentation on the potential solutions produced by BIO Deutschland: private-sector investments in R&D could be facilitated by measures such as loss carry forward irrespective of earnings, or by tax benefits for reinvestment of profits (roll-over). Innovative companies should themselves be granted unlimited retention of the loss carry forward, as well as tax credits in certain cases.

In response to this long awaited clear statement by the coalition parties in Berlin, Peter Heinrich, Chairman of the Board of BIO Deutschland, emphasised the contribution made by biotechnological processes to improving nutrition and health, as well as to sustainable industrial production.  He added, “We very much hope that the urgently required improvements to the parameters for biotech companies, most of which are SMEs, will now be tackled by the Federal Government.”

List of documents by the Federal Government on the topic of biotechnology.

German version published on 20 August 2010. (English translations undated or published on 1 September 2010.)

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