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ITALIAN EXCELLENCE AT BIO-EUROPE 2009
The biotechnology sector continues to grow, and our daily lives are being increasingly affected by biotech thanks to the results of recent research. In 2009 the event not to be missed in Europe is the Bio-Europe fair, taking place in Vienna from 2 to 4 November, 2009. The Italian biotech industry will be there under the umbrella of the Italian Trade Commission (ICE). In fact, there will be 32 Italian companies in ICE‚Äôs grouping, exactly twice as many as last year, demonstrating how much vitality and enthusiasm there is for making Italian industry into a world leader.
In 2009, Italy registered a big growth in the number of companies in biotechnology: this number reached 260, of which 40 firms were accredited within the last year. Most of these specialise in health care (73% of the total), with a turnover of 15.3 billion, of which 1.5 billion went into investment in research and development (R&D) - which also grew by 15% in the past year - and over 41 thousand employees, of which more than 8,847 were in R&D.
The Italian biotechnology sector consists mostly of small businesses: 190 of them have less than 50 employees with an annual turnover of less than 10 million. Biotechnologies applied to health care (Red Biotech Companies) predominate among the 260 Italian companies, while 36 operate in zootechnology, agriculture and veterinary applications (so-called Green Biotech Companies), 23 in the industrial and environmental sector (White Biotech Companies), and 11 in biocomputing.
This 2009 meeting in Vienna will be the fifteenth Bio-Europe event, which takes place at a different venue every year and is the most important partnering fair for the European biotechnology sector. Traditionally, it brings together international level decision-makers in the worlds of biotech, pharmaceuticals and finance. Bio-Europe 2008 was held in Mannheim, Germany, another country where the industry is extremely active. 85 international representatives took part, including 2,440 delegates from 1,350 businesses, from a total of 45 countries altogether and 10,250 one-to-one meetings. As far as meetings are concerned, there were over 20 sector conventions and about 200 company presentations. The Italian industry will be represented by the main biotech clusters at the regional level, such as those from Tuscany, Piedmont and Lombardy, and national and regional organisations including Menarini, the largest Italian "Big Pharma" company operating in this sector, as well as CNR's Life Sciences Department.