Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Growth in biotech and pharma in Germany could open doors to collaborations or supplier relationships for Wisconsin companies.
Biotechnology is an important economic driver in Germany. About 4,100 companies are in the biotech industry, including many small and midsize companies.
The dominant biotech sectors are supply and engineering (27%), research and development (19%), and professional services and consulting (12.5%).
Germany also has nurtured the development of biotech regions, with the largest clusters in the Rhine-Neckar and Rhineland areas. The clusters represent a collaborative effort involving private companies, universities, research and development institutes, and government programs.
According to the Global Competition Review, the health and life sciences sector—which includes pharmaceuticals and biotechnology—is one of the most important economic sectors in Germany, accounting for about 12% of economic output and employing about 16% of the workforce.
In 2021, Germany’s biotech sector attracted €2.3 billion ($2.5 billion USD) in investment, the second highest total in the industry’s more than 30-year history, after raising a record €3 billion ($3.2 billion USD) in 2020, according to BIO Deutschland. The organization’s survey showed more than half of the companies that replied expected business to improve in 2022 and 69% planned to hire more staff.
In 2020, Germany was the top exporter of pharmaceuticals in the world, totaling $99.5 billion, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), an online data visualization platform. At the same time, though, Germany imported $60.5 billion in pharma products, making it the second largest pharmaceutical importer globally.
The large amount of pharmaceutical imports and high activity in the biotech sector make Germany a good prospect for Wisconsin companies in those fields.
For more insights into the German biotech industry, Germany will hold its leading biotech trade fair, Analytica 2024, April 9-12, 2024, in Munich.