22 Mar 2010

Biotechnology sector in 'good heart' post-recession

8:25 am on 22 March 2010

The organisation representing the New Zealand biotechnology sector say it has emerged from the recession in good heart.

NZ Bio chief executive Bronwyn Dilley says despite the financial pressures of the past two years, the number of companies carrying out biotech research and commercial developments here, has continued to grow.

She says there has been an increase to 108 core bioscience organisations and a total of 267 organisations that include companies and research organisations that are active in biotechnology but it's not their core purpose.

Ms Dilley says that is an increase from 168 in 2007, so there is still some steady growth and it seems the sector has come through the financial crisis.

She says most of the biotech companies deal in markets such as food and health which are more resilient to economic downturns than some other industries.

Ms Dilley says a strength of the New Zealand biotechnology sector has been its diversity.

She says New Zealand is at the forefront of converging technologies, or technologies which converge between sectors such as food products that have clinical health benefits or agricultural products that have environmental benefits to them.

NZ Bio is holding its annual conference starting in Auckland on Monday, with about 500 biotech representatives attending from New Zealand and overseas.