Catalonia leads Spain's biotech sector, hosting nearly 25% of the total number of companies

Catalan Economy · Life Sciences

14 Jun 2024

In the biotechnology business network in Spain, Catalonia has the highest number of companies at 242 (24.85%), followed by Madrid (17.25%), Andalusia (12.94%), the Basque Country (9.45%), and Valencia (8.62%).

With 24.85% of the total number of biotechnology companies in Spain, Catalonia maintains its leadership in the biotechnology sector. This is one of the conclusions presented in AseBio's 2023 Report "25 years of biotechnology, a figure that testifies to the growth of health and biotechnology companies in Barcelona-Catalonia, one of the strongest business hubs in Europe.

The number of biotechnology companies in Spain continues to grow year after year. Today, the number of companies stands at 974, with a growth rate of 8.5% in 2022. The current picture of the biotechnology business network in Spain shows that 47% are SMEs and 49% are micro-enterprises. Catalonia, with 242 companies (24.85% of the total), is followed by Madrid (17.25%), Andalusia (12.94%), the Basque Country (9.45%), and Valencia (8.62%).

According to the report, biotech companies in Catalonia also concentrate 35.21% of the total business revenue of the biotech sector in Spain. In terms of the sector's Gross Value Added (GVA) as a percentage of regional GDP, Catalonia also leads the ranking with 1.26%, followed by Madrid with 1.21% and Aragon with 0.61%.

“Spain is a powerhouse in scientific production in biotechnology, ranking 9th in the world.”

Rocío Arroyo, President of AseBio

The study also analyzes the infrastructure related to biotechnology in each region of Spain. This includes technology parks, business associations, clusters, and research centers. The results show that Catalonia is again the leading region, followed by the Canary Islands, Madrid, Castile and Leon, and Galicia.

Biotech's impact on the economy

In 2022, the activity of biotech companies in Spain generated more than 16.6 billion euros in revenue, representing 1.5% of the national GDP. Tax revenue amounted to 6.483 billion euros, representing 0.6% of GDP. It is worth noting that the turnover of biotech companies increased by 9.4% in 2022 compared to the previous year, reaching 19.676 billion euros.

Biotech companies contribute 162,845 jobs, which is 0.85% of total employment. The average productivity exceeded half a million euros per employee, more than four times the average productivity of the economy, with average wages that are double the national average.

Investment in R&D by biotech companies

In 2022, the biotech sector invested 1,218 million euros in R&D, more than 6.3% of the total national R&D investment. Of the R&D investments made by biotech companies, 67% are self-financed, and 44% are used to compensate research and technical personnel. These are followed by funds from the business sector at 13% and from public administration and other countries at 10%.

The biotechnology sector ranks fifth in R&D investment intensity, behind other sectors such as R&D services, automotive, pharmaceuticals, and education.

The report highlights that in 2022, Spanish scientific production in the biotechnology field represented 2.46% of the world production, which is 21% higher than the world average. These figures place Spain ninth worldwide in the number of biotechnology documents.

AseBio, the Spanish Bioindustry Association, unites and represents the interests of companies, associations, foundations, universities, technology and research centers working in the biotechnology field in Spain.

Barcelona-Catalonia, a global leader in pharma and life sciences

Catalonia is the densest pharmaceutical environment in Europe. It is the birthplace of Spain's five largest pharmaceutical companies (Almirall, Esteve, Ferrer, Grífols, and Uriach) and home to more than 1,300 life science companies.

Catalonia has 91 leading scientific, technical, and research centers in the fields of health, well-being, and life sciences. Major scientific facilities include the Alba Synchrotron, the MareNostrum supercomputer, and the National Genome Analysis Center.

Source: AseBio

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