Denmark and Singapore tops biotech innovation list

A list comparing 54 countries on their innovation potential in biotech includes Singapore and Denmark in its top five.


At its simplest, biotechnology is technology based on biology – biotechnologyharnesses cellular and biomolecular processes to develop technologies and products that help improve our lives and the health of our planet.

The scorecard of biotech innovative countries appears in Scientific American Worldview: A Global Biotechnology Perspective, and was released to coincide with the BIO International Convention 2016 in San Francisco, which was held at 6-9 June.

In top five, Singapore ranks second, followed by Denmark. The USA takes the top.

The Danish biotechnology cluster has for a long time been a major world player, especially in areas such as enzymes, CNS research, diabetes care and cancer research. A long-standing agricultural tradition created a research industry in Denmark more than 150 years ago and since then, research methods have continuously developed in Denmark.

In 2012 Denmark was ahead of Singapore, but now the island state overtakes the second place after making several efforts over the past decade to focus on biotechnology. More than 30 of the world leading companies within biotechnology have a key home basis in Singapore,

The analysis includes 27 components arranged in seven categories: productivity, intellectual property (IP) protection, intensity, enterprise support, education/work-force, foundations, and policy and stability.

The overall innovation score is a sum of the category averages, indexed to a score from zero to 50. The normalization involved in calculating the category and overall scores considers each component and each category on equal weighting, giving the scorecard the same importance to all components.

While last year’s leading five countries are still in place, only one of them, Singapore, is on the rise, jumping from fifth to the second slot.

Coming top in the productivity category, the USA remains the output powerhouse, and it moves up this year from eighth to second in the intellectual property field, which is topped by Finland.

For intensity – classed as the combination of focus, diligence, tools and commitment of a country’s biotech sector, and adjusted for population size – Denmark comes first, while Asian nations, led by Singapore, dominate the top five in the enterprise support category, showing the region is ready to expand its biotech activities.

The USA is first in terms of education/workforce, suggesting world-leading training, and South Korea is top of the foundations category, which reflects issues around the quality of a nation’s infrastructure such as transport, along with the percentage of business and government spending that goes to research and development.

In the final category, measuring policy and stability, Singapore leads the way, showing it to be a dependable and predictably safe environment to do business in.



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