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OECD Biotechnology Statistics 2009
By Brigitte van Beuzekom and Anthony Arundel

OECD Biotechnology Statistics - 2009


The OECD is a unique forum where the governments of 30 democracies work together to address the economic, social and environmental challenges of globalisation. The OECD is also at the forefront of efforts tounderstand and to help governments respond to new developments and concerns, such as corporate governance, the information economy and the challenges of an ageing population. The Organisation provides a setting where governments can compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practice and work to co-ordinate domestic and international policies. The OECD member countries are:Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Commission of the European Communities takes part in the work of theOECD.

© OECD 2009

© OECD 2009

OECD Biotechnology Statistics - 2009

The OECD Biotechnology Statistics – 2009 edition brings together the latest available economic and activity data on biotechnology and innovation, collected by OECD member and non-member countries. The report builds on the extensive work of the OECD and national experts to improve the comparability ofbiotechnology statistics. The results should provide a valuable source of information on biotechnology for policy makers, academics and business managers. The 2009 edition contains government survey data for 22 OECD countries and additional data for four nonmember countries. The survey data provide results on the number of biotechnology firms, business expenditures on R&D, biotechnology employment, andsales of biotechnology goods and services. Unfortunately, very few or no survey results are available in this edition for four OECD countries that are leaders in biotechnology: Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. However, some data are available for these countries from nonsurvey data sources for biotechnology patents, venture capital, alliances, GM crops, biofuels, andbiopharmaceuticals. Results for biofuels and biopharmaceuticals are provided for the first time in this edition.1 This is the fourth collection of OECD biotechnology indicators. The previous version, published in 2006,2 provided data for 23 OECD and 3 non-member countries. The results for OECD member states were obtained from government survey data for 16 OECD countries and from a private consulting firmfor six OECD countries. Developing internationally comparable biotechnology statistics has been a challenge for many years, largely due to different survey definitions of biotechnology and of a biotechnology firm. Unlike ICT or other technologies, there is no single biotechnology ‘sector’ that can be quickly identified and surveyed. The 2009 edition of OECD biotechnology indicators has benefitedfrom the on-going efforts of the OECD and of national experts to develop and use a harmonized definition of biotechnology and guidelines for the collection of biotechnology statistics.3 However, a few countries continue to use slightly different definitions of biotechnology. For 2009, comparability in the definition of a biotechnology firm and classification boundaries for firm size andbiotechnology applications have also improved. However, there are still a few challenges for developing full comparability. The main issue is national differences in the method of surveying biotechnology firms. Fourteen countries collected data on biotechnology firms through an official R&D survey, while 12 countries used a dedicated survey of firms that are known to be active in biotechnology. The results...
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