Scientific American has an article ranking countries based on how conducive they are to biotechnology innovation. The criteria are based on what is best for biotech firms and not necessary what is best for society. The rankings are based on the following metrics:
- Intellectual Property (IP) protection. In this ranking, more IP protection is considered better. For a firm’s point of view, better IP laws lead to more profits and a higher incentive to innovate. However, IP also increases cost and may decrease innovation of biotech companies modifying existing patented compounds. The U.S. ranked #1 in this category with Canada, Japan, and a number of EU nations tied for 2nd place.
- Intensity. This looks at the how much money is directed towards R&D and how much drugs a country can afford. Metrics include: public companies per capita, portion of overall R&D spending used for biotech. Here, Iceland is by far the leader, the U.S. is 2nd, and New Zealand third.
- Enterprise Support. Measures how “business friendly” a country was perceived to be and the availability of various forms of capital, which are essential to support the growth of emerging biotechnology firms. Top 3 Countries: U.S., Singapore, Australia.
- Education Workforce. The more educated the workforce, the better the score. Education was measured in the number of R&D and biotech workers as well as the number of published papers. Top 3: Singapore, Switzerland, U.S.
- Foundations. Includes broad measures of foundations for biotech innovation. Top 3: Israel, Sweden, Finland.
Overall the Top 5 Countries for Biotechnology Innovation