BioPharma

America is #1 in overall biotech innovation, but policy and stability is the big weak spot

America is tops in intellectual property protection, but Finland is catching up fast in every other category used to calculate Scientific American’s Worldview Report and Bio-Innovation Scorecard. The report was presented at the 2013 BIO International Convention today in Chicago. The United States landed at the top of the list in overall innovation, but only […]

America is tops in intellectual property protection, but Finland is catching up fast in every other category used to calculate Scientific American’s Worldview Report and Bio-Innovation Scorecard.

The report was presented at the 2013 BIO International Convention today in Chicago.

The United States landed at the top of the list in overall innovation, but only a five-point spread separated the top five: the United States, Denmark, Singapore, Finland and Sweden. Scientific America evaluated countries on IP, enterprise support, intensity, education/workforce, foundations, and policy and stability, new category this year.

The magazine examined how the top 5 countries scored in each criteria. None of them were very strong “Intensity,” which is the level of energy devoted to biotechnology. The two top countries on that score were Denmark and Estonia

Denmark and Estonia lead this category. Denmark grabs the top spot through a combination of high scores in public biotechnology companies, employees and revenue in those companies, plus high ranking in its percentage of patents directed at biotechnology and the proportion of R&D spending on biotechnology. Estonia slips into second with a high ranking in “biotechnology R&D as percentage of total business expenditures on R&D,” gaining its number-two ranking largely due to a lack of scores in the other sub-categories. Switzerland, in the third spot, scores reasonably high in most of the sub-categories, especially in “biotechnology R&D as percentage of total business expenditures on R&D.”

These sections of the report are also worth checking out:

The bottom five countries are Argentina, India, Philippines, Ukraine and Indonesia.

The report also underlined the need for ongoing STEM education efforts:

Although the United States captures the top overall spot in this year’s Scorecard, and in the three before it, the categories and sub-categories reveal considerable room for improvement. As noted above, the United States places 20th in Policy and Stability, with a need to enhance its reputation in the sub-category “political stability and absence of violence/terrorism.” Likewise, in the category of Education/Workforce, the United States takes the sixth spot overall, but receives a relatively low score in “post-secondary science graduates per capita.”