Biotechnology companies optimistic. The sector has hopes of the new German government.
Business climate more positive than it has been for years.
Berlin (14 January 2014) – The German biotechnology sector sees itself as well prepared for the
coming year. Capital investments in German biotechnology companies have increased by 20 per cent.
At the same time, the sector regards the current business situation more positively than it has done for
many years. A clear positive trend has also emerged in the sector’s evaluation of the current and
future political climate in Germany. There are signs that companies are hoping the new German
government will implement the measures included in its coalition agreement to improve the financing
situation. These were the findings of a survey by the biotechnology industry association, BIO
Deutschland, in cooperation with the sector magazine |transkript. The survey findings are being
presented at a press conference in Berlin today.
The survey revealed an overall positive trend. Five of the six indicators surveyed showed improvement
over last year’s findings. Biotech companies are planning to hire more staff. For the first time in three
years, the employment index value rose once again. This development is linked to the firms’ positive
evaluation of the current business situation, which reached the highest level in six years. The
surveyed companies also regarded the future business situation more positively than they did last
year. Their evaluation of the current political climate overturned a longstanding trend, and is now at a
similar level to that following the general election in Germany in 2009. The companies also regarded
the future development of the business climate far more positively. According to the survey, their
willingness to invest in research and development was the only index value to decline.
The findings have been supplemented by research by BIO Deutschland and |transkript. This showed
that equity capital investments rose by 20 per cent in comparison with 2012 to around €360 million.
Although no biotech companies were floated on the stock exchange in 2013, many shareholders
enjoyed good returns on biotech investments. Only two of the twelve companies listed in Deutsche
Börse’s Prime IG Biotech Index lost value; meanwhile, another two companies more than doubled in
Overall, the survey findings show that companies believe they are on the right track with their current
business models, despite facing budget constraints. One reason for this belief is that biotechnology is
becoming more important. For a long time now, biotechnology applications have not been restricted to
the development of medicinal products, a field that is particularly dependent on capital. Instead,
biotechnological processes are increasingly being used in traditional industries such as car
manufacturing, chemicals and cosmetics. The bio-based products developed in these industries are
reducing dependence on fossil resources such as oil, gas and coal, and thus helping to protect the
climate and environment. Both the healthcare sector and the bioeconomy are mentioned several times
in the German government’s coalition agreement. As a result, companies have high expectations of
Peter Heinrich, Chairman of the Board of BIO Deutschland, summed up the survey findings as follows:
“The lack of financial support for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises in Germany is still a
big problem. In terms of venture capital and initial public offerings, companies also often enjoy better
conditions in other countries. In the US in particular, this is currently boosting investments and creating
a real biotech boom.”
Andreas Mietzsch, editor of |transkript, said: “Medical biotechnology continues to shape the sector.
However, the use of biotechnological processes is increasing significantly in other industrial sectors.
This development is important for competitiveness, jobs and sustainability – but it is rarely spectacular
enough to generate a front-page splash.”
Viola Bronsema, Managing Director of BIO Deutschland, commented: “It is good that the overall
atmosphere is positive in our sector. However, the reluctance to invest in research and development
shows that trust in the new government first has to be consolidated.”
The individual index values were as follows:
Current business situation:
Expectations of the future business situation:
R&D investment index:
Employment index:
Current political parameters:
Future political parameters:
+2.64 points to 99.13 points
+1.13 points to 92.12 points
- 3.05 points to 93.05 points
+2.80 points to 95.32 points
+5.61 points to 97.31 points
+4.00 points to 88.65 points
684 words / 4,564 characters
Download: The text of this press release will be available free of charge from 14 January 2014 at
You can see the findings of the company survey and graphics from 14 January 2014 at
Notes to editors:
Survey information:
To date, BIO Deutschland and |transkript have conducted eight annual surveys of around 1,100
biotechnology companies and branch-specific service providers. 139 of them returned the
questionnaire this year. The aim is to predict development in the present year, using the survey as a
barometer of the atmosphere in the sector. The index values are calculated and determined by a
method similar to that used by the IFO Institute. The values mainly represent the difference between
positive and negative answers. The norm values are based on the results from 2006 (= 100%).
BIO Deutschland:
With around 300 members, including companies, BioRegions and sector service providers, the Berlinbased Biotechnology Industry Organisation of Germany (BIO Deutschland) aims to support and
promote the development of an innovative economic branch based on modern biosciences in
Germany. Dr Peter Heinrich is the Chairman of the Board of BIO Deutschland.
Further information is available at
BIO Deutschland’s supporting members and sector partners are:
Bayer, Biotest, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene GmbH, Clariant, CMS Hasche Sigle, Deutsche
Bank AG, EBD Group, Ernst & Young AG, Isenbruck, Bösl, Hörschler LLP, KPMG AG, Merck
KGaA, Miltenyi Biotec GmbH, PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, Qiagen GmbH and Sanofi Aventis
Deutschland GmbH
The monthly life sciences journal, |transkript, reports on biotechnology in the German-speaking areas
of Europe. The journal is now in its twentieth year of publication and is published by BIOCOM.
|transkript is recognised for having established itself as the leading trade journal dealing with the topic
of biotechnology in the economy, society and specialist applications.
Further information is available at
Contact information:
BIO Deutschland e.V. | Dr Claudia Englbrecht | Am Weidendamm 1A | 10117 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 726 25 132 | Fax: +49 30 726 25 138 |
BIOCOM AG | Andreas Mietzsch | Lützowstr. 33-36 | 10785 Berlin, Germany
Tel.: +49 30 264921 40 | Fax: +49 30 264921 11 |