(Sustainabilityenvironment.com) – Biotech companies in Italy seem to enjoy good health. From the annual report Assobiotec-Federchimica and ENEA “Biotechnology companies in Italy. Facts&Figures 2022” emerges a vital sector that has withstood even the pandemic crisis.
Biotech, the engine of innovation that increases turnover
Biotech is an engine of innovation that increases the turnover of companies: the sector recorded +30% in 2020. Stable companies, therefore, and often growing in all fields of application of biotechnology.
As pointed out by Elena Sgaravatti, vice president of Assobiotec-Federchimica, “Biotechnology has been the basis of all the responses to the pandemic crisis: from sequencing the virus genome to molecular diagnostics, from vaccines to monoclonal antibodies and antivirals, everything is based on biotech”.
“We are at the end of the health emergency, but faced with new, urgent, dramatic needs. Sustainable economic growth, diversification and expansion of energy sources, and capacity to supply raw materials for human and animal consumption. Today, biotechnology can once again play a crucial role.
The country, with the PNRR has an extraordinary opportunity to restart and can not afford to make mistakes. Starting reforms and investing the resources of the Next Generation EU on innovation means to ferry the country towards a better future and biotech is certainly a technology that, in this perspective, cannot be neglected”.
Biotech companies grow in all areas
In 2020 biotech companies recorded a decrease of 1% (in other sectors it was more than double), but in 2021 they returned to grow in all areas of application, especially companies dedicated to research and development in biotechnology under Italian control, driven by those with prevalent application in industrial biotechnology with a +9% of companies between 2019 and 2020.
Small and micro-enterprises account for just over 82% of the total.
About three-quarters of biotech companies are active in the health sector, but industrial biotechnology continues to grow and, in the last period, those with applications in agriculture and animal husbandry (between 2014 and 2021 increased by 35%).
Positive developments in the Center and South Italy
The northern regions of Italy are overall in the lead in terms of production and turnover, but in recent years the biotech productive fabric is also developing in the Center and South and the North-East.
The turnover, also in the height of the emergency Covid, has recorded only a small temporary bending for then to immediately recover; the biotech enterprises “dedicated” to Italian control, on the contrary, have continued the positive trend until to record an increase of 30%.
Already in 2020, biotech companies had accelerated their investment in research and development. Capital derives predominantly from the resources of ownership (retained earnings and capital injections by the shareholders, depending on the structure and size of the companies).
In addition, more than a third of biotech companies operating in the health sector also benefit from grants and grants.
“The biotech sector is confirmed as a driving force of national innovation in various sectors and ENEA provides companies with skills, technologies, infrastructures and advanced services”, says Gaetano Coletta, ENEA Head of “Offering and Enhancing Innovation Services”.