Italian Biotech Industry 2020

The new report on the Italian biotech industry, prepared thanks to the consolidated cooperation between Assobiotec (Italian Association for the Development of Biotechnology, part of Federchimica) and ENEA (National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development), is being released during an emergency situation for the country. Gathering, processing and analysing the information and the updated estimates provided by the companies activities in this field at the end of 2019, by the 2018 financial statements, public data and by the National Statistical System, this report, by its nature, cannot include any element related to the coronavirus pandemic which has hit the country and the entire world.

On the other hand, the report on the Italian biotech industry shows a detailed snapshot of the whole sector that stands out for its wealth of information. Furthermore, it provides the basis for an evaluation of strengths and weaknesses as well as opportunities and threats for the sector, especially in light of the dramatic events which represent an alarm bell for the healthcare system but also for the economic and environmental sustainability of the current production and consumers models, for the survival of the planet. It is for this reason that we need to take a closer look at the Italian biotech field and the related R&D activities, moving on to the in-depth analysis of two macro areas: the healthcare field, made up of diagnostic, vaccine prevention and therapeutical solutions and the bioeconomy which includes agriculture, veterinary, industry and environment. The data observed by the National Statistics Programme will flow into the industrial biotech statistics developed by OECD - The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, from which the report borrows the methodology, setting a solid base to develop programmes for a more sustainable and better future.

On the basis of this data, the Italian biotech industry proves to be a growing field with a number of companies which has consolidated in time, but should strengthen in terms of size, also in order to improve its competitiveness on an international level. The R&D activities are a true strong point, with real excellence in all biotech fields of application.

As a confirmation, we need to take a look at the quick response by some companies within this field, all associated with Assobiotec, which have been able to promptly react with competence to the health emergency caused by the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, both in the diagnostic and vaccines field. With reference to the response given by the whole field on the coronavirus subject and the effects on the companies, we have dedicated an appendix which has been integrated into the 2020 biotech companies report. It is during emergency crisis that we realize how important it is to invest in research and give trust to an industrial field such as biotech, that now more than ever is to be considered fundamental, in order to face challenges and take the opportunities on a national and international level.

We would like to conclude this introduction with the wish that the overall qualitative and quantitative picture of the Italian biotech can contribute to set the basis so that we all, together with the institutions and the public and non-profit research field, can get going and define a national strategy aimed at the development of a long term plan for innovation and research, made up of stable measures and an efficient, definite and centralized governance. We are ready to share these measures which will allow companies to overcome the limits of a field which at times is too small, and guarantee important benefits for the country in terms of economic and job-related developments, supporting Italy’s growth and competitiveness.

Download Italian Biotech Report 2020