The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed significantly to the rise in popularity of biotechnology, as has all health related industries. In Poland, this sector has been gaining importance for several years and has found itself at the center of government strategies, as evidenced by, inter alia, the appointment of a government plenipotentiary for biotechnology or the acquisition of shares in Mabion and Selvita by the Polish Development Fund. The institutional and legal environment in Poland, however, still does not keep up with the rapid development of biotechnology, which is why domestic companies established the first industry organization – the BioForum Biotechnology Companies Association, whose task will be to strengthen the role of the entire sector and compete on the global market.
As shown in the last year’s report of the Polish Economic Institute (“Biotechnological leap into the future or a drift?”), Biotechnology – next to the ICT sector – is the most promising area for the development of the economy based on knowledge and data. Its use in medicine, industry and agriculture generates billions in profits and allows the generation of thousands of jobs, creating an opportunity to solve the key challenges of mankind: more effective drugs and therapies, more sustainable resource management or counteracting climate change.
PIE data shows, however, that Poland is still a minor player in the global biotechnology market. In 2017, Polish enterprises spent a total of approximately $ 240 million on research and development related to biotechnology, which is six times less than German business and over 200 times less than American companies.
As the BioForum expert points out, the institutional and legal environment still does not keep pace with the rapid development of biotechnology, especially in Poland. That is why domestic companies established the first industry organization – the Association of Biotechnological Companies BioForum.
The institution representing the Polish biotechnology industry seeks to foster cooperation in the creation of new legal regulations and constitute the next step to strengthen this sector. A huge amount of money from the EU will also be a strong impulse for them, which will soon go to biotechnology companies – by 2027 a total of PLN 3 billion of EU funds will flow to Poland to strengthen companies offering breakthrough technologies in human treatment and nutrition. The distribution channel for these funds is to be the newly established biotechnology hub, the creation of which is included in the government’s Strategy for Responsible Development.
Members of the newly created Association of Biotechnological Companies BioForum include, among others Celon Pharma, NanoGroup, Mabion – one of the first Polish biotechnology companies with a chance to produce a vaccine against COVID-19 in cooperation with the American Novavax, Sygnis Bio Technologies, a start-up Biotts, which wants to revolutionize the delivery of drugs to the human body, and Personather and Polski Bank Komórek Macierzystych FamiCord Group.