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Europe ‘must commit’ to biotech research

28/03/14

Brussels: European governments must remain committed to biotech research, development and innovation (RDI) incentives as the industry faces fresh challenges in upholding its world leading position in innovation, according to a biennial report published by EY and EuropaBio: ‘Biotechnology in Europe: The Tax, Finance and Regulatory Framework and Global Policy Comparison’.

EuropaBio chairman André Goig, who welcomed the report’s findings, commented: “National governments need to do more to ensure that RDI in the European biotech sector is universally transformed into new businesses, new products, and additional jobs for both large scale companies and SMEs. The joint EuropaBio and EY report, as well as the new biotech industry manifesto launched today, go some way to outlining to policy officials exactly what needs to be done to make this happen.”

The report provides a comprehensive study of the leading 17 European biotech countries comparing their advantages and disadvantages. The survey analyses the tax, financial and regulatory incentives these individual jurisdictions provide to investors, entrepreneurs, manufacturers and researchers. It also weighs the financial burdens for SMEs and which benefits are likely to flow from a decision to establish a research facility or start up in a particular market.

The key findings of the report identify substantial variations in regulatory policy for biotechnology companies across different member states. The differences range from basic policies and regulations which encourage financing for start-ups, to the ability to attract competent managers and entrepreneurs. The report shows some governments already have recognised the importance of policies and programmes that foster a strong community of large corporations and SMEs in biotechnology, including R&D tax credits or low corporation tax, while other governments have not yet capitalised on these incentives.

Philip Robinson, EY Global Director of Indirect Tax said: “Biotechnology remains a cornerstone of Europe’s economic competitiveness in terms of research and innovation. A consistent tax and regulatory environment for biotech corporations and SMEs across Europe is essential if the industry is to have sustainable economic growth and remain competitive especially against other key biotech regions around the world.”

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