A detailed new analysis of the biotechnology industry in Australia covers 151 dedicated biotechnology enterprises ("Group 1"), plus more than 150 other companies which have significant biotechnology involvement as part of their spectrum of activity, and/or are operating in closely related areas of bioscience ("Group 2").
For Group 1, major areas of biotechnology activity are analysed. About 43% of these companies have their main focus on health, with significant numbers also in agribiotech/food, biologicals, genetic testing, veterinary, or several different major areas. Of the health sector, 63% mainly concentrate on pharmaceuticals, 15% on diagnostics, and 12% on both. Group 1 companies listed on stock exchanges are identified, and additional Tables list examples of companies focusing on selected industry sectors. New South Wales and Victoria each account for around 30% of the Group 1 companies, with the other mainland States hosting 9%-12% each. Results from previous studies are summarised on key indicators of industry growth such as revenue, exports, strategic alliance activity, and intellectual property transaction activity.
International comparison reveals that Australia rates relatively well in terms of number of dedicated biotechnology companies. Many of these are small, young start-up ventures, and the industry has expanded markedly recently. The 21/2-year period to mid-2000 has seen 39 enterprises commence their biotechnology activity - 26% of the currently active companies. We conclude that to build the Australian biotechnology industry as a key player in the 21st century economy, the emphasis should be on developing stronger, more viable companies, with better access into global markets.
For Group 2 companies, which operate over a wide spectrum of biotechnology and bioscience sectors, Tables show examples of companies in prominent areas of activity, and companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
The article concludes by identifying selected areas of strength in the Australian biotechnology and bioscience based industry, with numerous examples of companies to illustrate the wide variety of products and activities.