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European Exploitation of Biotechnology - Do Government Policies Help?

: Reiß, T.; Senker, J.; Enzing, C.M.; Joly, P.-B.


Nature biotechnology 18 (2000), No.6, pp.605-608
ISSN: 1087-0156
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISI ()
biotechnology; Europe; government aid; commercialization

A recent survey of public spending on biotechnology in Europe suggests that money alone cannot stimulate growth of the sector.
Public expenditure on biotechnology research in Europe totaled almost ecu 10 (US $ 9,1) billion in the period 1994 - 1998. The bulk of these funds were for research; spending on promotional schemes or technology transfer usually came from other budgets. Nearly half this money was allocated to research on human or veterinary diagnostics and therapeutic systems. The " big spenders", Germany (32 %), the UK (27 %), and France (22 %), were responsible for over 80 % of all expenditure. According to our data, public policy for biotechnology research is only one of many factors affecting the strength of bioindustry in any country. We found that industrial exploitation does not depend only on the amount of money invested by governments; associated policies for technology transfer also seem to have crucial impact.