OECD Biotechnology Statistics - 2006
© OECD 20063
OECD Biotechnology Statistics – 2006
edition brings together the latest available economicand activity data on biotechnology and innovation, collected by OECD member and a number of non-member countries.
The report builds on the extensive work of the OECD and national experts toimprove the comparability of biotechnology statistics. The results should provide a valuable source of information on biotechnology for policy makers, academics and business managers.The first OECD collection of biotechnology indicators was published in 2001
and provided datafor 21 OECD member countries and 1 observer country. However, comparable data across countrieswas only available for biotechnology patents, bibliometrics, venture capital, GM crop hectares, andGM field trials. Data were also available for up to 16 countries for employment, business R&D, andturnover for biotechnology firms, but the comparability of these indicators was limited by the lack of clear definitions of ‘biotechnology’ and a ‘biotechnology firm’.Improving the comparability of biotechnology indicators – and their collection – has posedseveral major challenges for national statistical systems. Unlike ICT or other technologies, there is nosingle biotechnology ‘sector’ that can be quickly identified and surveyed. Instead, biotechnologyconsists of a collection of related technologies with pervasive applications in many different economicsectors, including agriculture, forestry, aquaculture, mining, petroleum refining, environmentalremediation, human and animal health, food processing, chemicals, security systems, and manydifferent industrial processes. It is precisely the range of current and potential applications of biotechnology, together with their economic, environmental and social impacts, that creates a policyinterest in obtaining high quality economic and innovation indicators for biotechnology.
The current edition of
OECD Biotechnology Statistics
includes data for 23 OECD countries and 2observer countries, plus China (Shanghai) and takes a major step forward in improving thecomparability of biotechnology indicators between countries. The improvement in both data collectionand comparability has been made possible by the work of the OECD and national experts to developboth a definition of biotechnology and the
Framework for Biotechnology Statistics,
which providesguidance for the collection of data on biotechnology. The OECD definition of biotechnology was usedin 15 countries.Comparable indicators are given for the number of biotechnology firms, business expenditures onbiotechnology R&D, biotechnology R&D in the public sector, biotechnology employment, and salesof biotechnology goods and services, plus patents, venture capital, GM crop hectares, and GM fieldtrials. In addition, the indicators for the number of firms, R&D, employment and sales are alsoprovided for three main application fields: health, agro-food, and industry-environment.Separate country pages provide additional details. These are not intended to cover all availableindicators at the national level, but provide additional methodological information for comparable
Consulting firms when no national statistical data were available.
van Beuzekom, Brigitte (2001), “Biotechnology Statistics in OECD Member Countries: Compendium of existing national statistics,”
STI Working Paper 2001/6,
OECD, Paris, September.
Arundel, A. (2003), “Biotechnology Indicators and Public Policy”,
STI Working Paper 2003/5
, OECD, Paris,June.
A Framework for Biotechnology Statistics