This year’s report discusses the increasing levels of complexity in the field of biotechnology. And it explains how this is driving exciting change in the Swiss biotechnology sector. The take ranges from the insights of an evolutionary biologist to news of the latest programs and institutions.
Living complexity and the role of trusted networks
Life sciences deal with living organisms, which are complex selforganizing systems. This complexity increases exponentially when we take life sciences out of the laboratory and incorporate them into the world of living beings.
“Complexity allows for innovation”
Evolutionary biologist Andreas Wagner knows it from his own research: life is hard to understand because of its complexity. But without the intricacies of metabolisms and intertwined protein structures, organisms would not have enough freedom to innovate.
Industry and research harvest the fruits of the NTN Swiss Biotech program
The NTN Swiss Biotech™ is a unique network that supports the competitiveness of the biotech ecosystem, fueled by close ties between industry and research and sponsored by the Commission of Technology and Innovation (CTI).
From CTI to Innosuisse
The Commission of Technology and Innovation (CTI) is the Swiss Confederation’s innovation promotion agency. It provides consultancy and networking services and financial resources to help turn scientific research into economic results. From 1 January 2018, Innosuisse will take over the functions of the current CTI.
Freedom-to-operate in biotech: multiplied complexities
Over the past two decades, the biotech industry has matured into an established business with numerous commercial products generating high returns on investment. In parallel, novel technologies, new players and additional fields of application have continued to increase overall diversity. All along, patents have been instrumental in protecting products and encouraging investment in this high risk/high potential industry. Consequently, the patent landscape for biotechnology has become large and complex.
Switzerland, a great environment for complex industries
Switzerland offers good framework conditions for complex industries. One example is the highly specialized flavour and fragrance sector, in which Swiss companies occupy a world leadership role.
Switzerland: success through diversity
For many years, Switzerland has held the top spot in one of the best known international competitiveness indexes. In 2016, for the eighth consecutive year, it took first place in the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual rankings. With an average USD 81,324, Switzerland’s per capita gross domestic product is the fourth largest in the world.
Reducing complexity as a function of strategy
The call for clarity has never been louder because it is considered essential when it comes to making sense of complexity. Companies that master a structured approach to reduce complexity will unlock new opportunities and successfully manage the ever-growing list of regulations. Not only will they become more effective, they will also be better understood by the public and investors. SIX solicits the view of executives from listed companies and a corporate finance representative.
Positive biotech performance indicators
Biotech continued its positive journey in 2016 although some of the key performance indicators did not reach the record heights of the previous years. Overall the US Food and Drug Administration approved 22 new drugs as compared with 45 in 2015 and 41 in 2014. The European Medicine Agency issued in total 81 positive opinions, slightly down on the 93 issued in 2015 and 82 in 2014.