Key Sector Figures Published during the German Biotechnology Days

Turnover, employees and financing are all growing in the German biotech sector. Biotech firms’ turnover is larger than ever before, while the number of people employed by the sector has also reached a new high. These were the results for 2014 of a study by The findings were published at the start of the German Biotechnology Days 2015 on 22 April in Cologne. This annual event is organised by sector association BIO Deutschland, the Council of German BioRegions and a bioregion, in this case BIO.NRW. Over 800 participants from the fields of research, business and politics were expected to attend. The biotech sector report by is commissioned each year by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and conducted in accordance with guidelines by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The most important economic figures from dedicated biotech firms currently show a clear upward trend. For example, turnover exceeded the €3 billion mark in 2014 for the first time ever – an increase of 5.8% compared with 2013. For the first time since 2008, expenditure on research and development (R&D) also rose again (+6.2%), reaching a total of €954 million, thus exceeding expenditure in 2013 (€899 million) and 2012 (€930 million). The number of employees also increased. At the end of 2014, 17,930 people were employed in companies primarily active in biotechnology – an increase of just over 1,000 jobs (+5.8%) compared with the previous year’s figure of 16,950 jobs. The number of companies in the sector rose to 578 (2013: 570) and included 13 new firms. Biotechnology remains highly relevant in industry, with a further 131 companies conducting some of their business activities in the sector (2013: 130). These firms include concerns in the pharmaceutical, chemical and food industries. These firms’ biotechnology departments employed 19,200 people in 2014 (2013: 18,450). This means there are 37,130 jobs in total in commercial biotechnology in Germany – an increase of 4.9% over the previous year (2013: 35,400).

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