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Measuring the economic footprint of the Biotechnology Industry in Europe


Brussels, Belgium
February 2, 2021

The purpose of this study is to estimate the economic impact of the production activities of European enterprises applying biotechnology in their research and manufacturing processes. The analysis covers the years between 2008 and 2018 while focusing on contributions to economic growth and employment. Especially estimations of direct as well as indirect and induced effects (so-called spillover effects) are considered, in total tagged as “footprint”. The impact is analysed regarding to employment and contribution to gross domes-tic product (GDP), the latter being measured in terms of gross value added (GVA). Therefore, this economic footprint analysis provides an overall eco-nomic picture of the EU biotechnology industry supplemented by trade and R&D figures. It sheds light on the performance of the industry, its direct contribution to Europe’s GDP and labour market, as well as on the spillover effects occurring in European supply chains.

The study computes the impact of the biotechnology industry operating in 28 EU member countries. A detailed description of data sources and methodology can be found in Appendix B.

The results show that the biotechnology industry has contributed €34.5 bn GVA to the growth of the European economy in 2018. If indirect and induced effects are considered, this amount increases to €78.7 bn. This simply means that every Euro of GVA directly generated by the biotechnology industry sup-ports additionally €1.3 GVA in the European economy.

Furthermore, the biotechnology industry accomplished to safeguard up to 223,000 jobs directly and supports 710,500 jobs along the value chain, mainly created by the suppliers of goods and services to the biotechnology industry. Or to put it differently, for each job in the biotechnology industry there are 3.2 additional jobs in the overall economy. Detailed figures on the three biotechnology sub-sectors can be found in Chapter 2.

This study was commissioned by EuropaBio, the European Association of Bioindustries, with the objective to better quantify the impact of the biotechnology industry on the European Union’s economy.

Founded in 1996, EuropaBio is the recognised voice of the EU biotechnology community, championing world-class solutions for society’s challenges. EuropaBio and its members are committed to the responsible use of biotechnology to improve quality of life, to prevent, diagnose, treat and cure diseases, to improve the quality and quantity of food and feedstuffs and to move towards a bio-based and zero-waste economy.


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