New Zealand, with its world-leading bioeconomy, has huge advantages in growing its massive potential in biotechnology, according to a new report.
The significant BioTechNZ study analysed the state of biotechnology and its impact and benefits for the New Zealand economy and society. What New Zealand has over most other countries includes the fact that the country has strict quarantine standards and border security.
“It is ranked #1 in the world for doing business, is rated the least corrupt country in the world and is rated second in the world among the top 100 life science universities.
“New Zealand also has the most PhD graduates in life sciences per capita, a high level of international research co-authorship and the highest livestock disease-free status globally.
“New Zealand has had more than 100 years of research into dairy proteins, is a world leader in pasture research with expertise in forest genetics biotech.”
Other advantages include a high level of biodiversity, being rich in bioactives, the strong biomedical research base for drug discovery innovations and a robust clinical trial environment.
New Zealand produces enough food to feed 40 million people worldwide – almost 10 times its own population.
“New Zealanders participate in over 100 clinical trials each year, which employed more than 700 people and contributed more than $150 million per year on average to New Zealand's GDP, in the period 2013 to 2018,” said BioTechNZ executive director Dr Zahra Champion.
“With the investment, the report estimates the clinical trials sector's economic contribution could, by 2025, increase to $860 million and create 4640 jobs.
“There are a growing number of global opportunities for New Zealand biotechnology. New Zealand’s biotechnology strengths allow scientists and companies to identify global niche opportunities, particularly in the animal sciences, horticulture, marine and biomedical industries.
“Coupled with the expertise and leadership within our companies, universities, crown research institutes and our research organisations, New Zealand has the opportunity to scale research ideas to commercial products and services.“
The report is the first biotech ecosystem map for New Zealand and is a comprehensive study into the state and future opportunities for biotech.
It highlights the importance of biotech and how it can contribute to New Zealand’s economic growth and diversification, as well as its ability to help make New Zealand cleaner, healthier and more prosperous.