Overview of the Biotech–Health Sector in Europe

The Workpackage 1 aims at a better and common understanding of biotech-health sector specificities, in particular regarding access to finance (task 1.1.) and at identifying a limited number of model of case studies (task 1.2). The key findings and conclusions will enrich the debate during a Roundtable, held in Milano, the 30th of May, 2006, dedicated to exchanging experiences on the access to finance in the biotech-health sector. The present deliverable (n°1.1.) is the starting point of the AFIBIO project, aiming at briefly describing the “countours” of the biotech sector in Europe from four point of view : industry, research base and financial sectors ; and public policy support to the biotech. The deliverable is divided into two parts :

– Synthesis at the EU level, including comments on the comparison with the USA performances

– National surveys


The informations has been collected by the AFIBIO partners through the most available recent reports and studies, drafted under the umbrella of the national biotech associations or EU association. Statistics, web-based research, and personal contacts and interviews around Europe were also used by AFIBIO partners to compile such datas.
AFIBIO partners are aware that such a survey is more “empirical” than conceptual and scientific. Datas are not “harmonised” due partly to the fragmentation of the sector at the EU and national levels. Nevertheless the informations and facts collected are relevant for the AFIBIO objective which was during the first workpackage to capture a general overview of the sector over Europe.


For the purposes of AFIBIO project, Biotechnology is defined as:

– the application of scientific and engineering principles to the processing of materials by biological agents to provide goods and services (OECD) and

– the integrated use of natural sciences and engineering sciences by the application of biosystems – cells of microbial, plant and animal origin, parts thereof and molecular analogues – in bioindustries”, as defined by the European Federation of Biotechnology.

The project focuses on Biotechnology applied to healthcare.

An additional list of definitions is provided in Annex 1.