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Spending on R&D in Biotechnology Increased by 13% in 2022 and Reached 2.56 Billion

In 2022, spending on biotechnology Research and Development (R&D) increased by 13% to reach 2.56 billion euros. Company expenditure grew by 17.8%, accounting for 47.7% of the total. Spain’s R&D workforce comprises 35,301 people, with 54% being women. Catalonia, Madrid, and Andalusia were the top spenders among autonomous communities. Human health and food were the primary areas of application.




Spending on Research and Development (R&D) in biotechnology increased by 13% in 2022 and reached 2.56 billion. In companies, this item grew by 17.8%, to 1.22 billion (47.7% of the total), according to data from the Statistics Institute (INE). This expense accounted for 13.3% of total spending on internal R&D activities and, by execution sector, company spending increased by 17.8% and that of the higher education sector by 10.8%.

In relation to the total expenditure on internal R&D activities in biotechnology, companies presented the highest percentage (47.7% of the total). Behind were public administration (30.2%), higher education (21.6%) and private non-profit institutions, with 0.4%.

Internal R&D activities related to biotechnology were financed in 2022, mainly by companies (44.4% of the total) and the public administration sector (40.1%).

Spain has a workforce of 35,301 people, 22,325 of whom work full-time in R&D

Regarding the group of researchers, it has a staff of 35,301 people, of which 22,325 were dedicated full-time to R&D activities in biotechnology . 54% of this staff were women.

Among the areas of final application of the products obtained from the use of different types of biotechnologies, human health and food stood out, with 48.7% and 32.4% of the total units , respectively.

Data by autonomous communities

The autonomous communities that spent the most on internal R&D activities in biotechnology in 2022 were Catalonia (with 31.5% of the total), Community of Madrid (26.9%) and Andalusia (9.6%), Valencian Community (7.8%), Basque Country (5.9%), Galicia (5%), Castilla y León (2.9%) and Navarra (2%).

Below 2% are Murcia (1.8%), Aragon (1.6%), Castilla La Mancha (1.4%), Asturias (1%), the Canary Islands (0.8%), La Rioja (0 .4%) Cantabria (0.3%) and Extremadura (0.2%).

The majority of Spanish companies invested in R&D

84% of Spanish companies in the health and biotechnology sectors say that in 2024 they have increased their research and development (R&D) budget compared to 12% that have maintained it and 4% that have cut it. These are data for PlantaDoce from the V International Barometer of Innovation of the consulting firm Ayming, resulting from a survey of one thousand R&D and innovation directors, financial directors and executive directors of companies in 17 countries . Of these, a quarter correspond to Spanish companies.

The most recurrent sources of financing among those surveyed are public aid from state and regional administrations and self-financing, both with 58% . These R&D financing channels are followed by debt and equity and tax deductions (50% each) and international subsidies (23%).

The weight of financing via public aid grows 14 percentage points compared to the previous barometer, when these represented 44%, and tax deductions 17 points compared to 2023. According to the general director of Ayming in Spain, this is due to strategic projects to economic recovery and transformation (Perte) such as Vanguardia Health , designed specifically for the development of R&D in this area.


(Featured image by  Louis Reed via Unsplash)

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Eva Wesley is an experienced journalist, market trader, and financial executive. Driven by excellence and a passion to connect with people, she takes pride in writing think pieces that help people decide what to do with their investments. A blockchain enthusiast, she also engages in cryptocurrency trading. Her latest travels have also opened her eyes to other exciting markets, such as aerospace, cannabis, healthcare, and telcos.