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RESEARCH AND INNOVATION: ITALIAN BIOTECH ON SHOW IN SAN FRANCISCO
It is the most important global event for the world of biotechnology: the 2016 edition of the Bio International Convention will be held in California from June 6th to 9th. The show is taking place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. It will provide an opportunity to meet the very best in the field, with all the major international players from the biotech sector taking part, including the pharmaceutical industry and financiers. Italy will of course be participating, with a group of the best Italian biotech companies selected by ICE (the Italian Trade Promotion Agency), in collaboration with Assobiotec.
The Bio International Convention is held annually in one of the largest bio-clusters in North America, and is the most important global event in terms of partnering in the biotech field. The 2015 edition of the fair was held from June 15th to 18th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, and attracted about 16,000 visitors and 1,800 exhibitors. Also, by use of the electronic system of 'matchmaking' made available to operators, about 29,300 B2B meetings were arranged, involving more than 3,100 companies.
The event will therefore provide a unique opportunity to get to know the innovative approach and special features of the Italian biotech sector. According to the Report on Biotechnology in Italy 2015, by the Assobiotec Study Centre, the Italian biotech industry is experiencing constant growth despite the difficult economic situation, and is very competitive at the European level. A total of 384 biotech companies were operating in Italy at the end of 2014. More than half of these businesses (251) are pure biotech companies. And of these, 225 are wholly Italian-owned pure biotech companies. The total turnover in this sector exceeds 7.7 billion Euros, while investments in R&D amount to over 1.5 billion Euros with close to 7,300 employees involved. With an average investment in R&D amounting to 19% of turnover (rising to 31% for the pure Italian biotechs), the biotech industry is one of the sectors with the highest level of innovation. The Italian biotech sector has experienced extraordinary development, thanks to the tremendous impact of new technologies, to the recognized excellence of our academic and industrial research, and to the ability of Italian companies to translate innovation into high quality products. Italy ranks third in Europe, after Germany and the UK, for its number of pure biotech companies. However, many of these businesses remain undercapitalised, due to problems in accessing sufficient funding.
In the global context, the biotech industry has long been dominated by the United States, thanks to an economic model that rewards innovation, and to the wide availability of venture capital. The US industry is concentrated on the West and East coasts and is dominated by two main bio-clusters: California and Massachusetts. The clusters in San Francisco and Boston/Cambridge are leaders in the field, bringing together the highest concentration of bio-tech businesses in the world. About half of total US investments in the sector is focused on these two hubs, which account for a third of the total number of employees and involve about a quarter of all US biotech companies.