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Biotechnology Sector Contributes $811 Million

5 April 2006

Biotechnology Sector Contributes $811 Million

Biotechnology income in New Zealand for the 2005 financial year was $811 million, Statistics New Zealand said today. The private sector contributed $515 million to this total, the public sector $160 million, and the higher education sector the remaining $135 million.

The biotechnology sector in New Zealand consisted of 126 organisations in 2005 and employed over 2,400 people, an increase of 16 organisations and 160 employees on figures released for 2004.

The increase in employment is due to greater employment of those with technical and trade qualifications. Some of this increase was offset by a decrease in employment of PhD-qualified staff in New Zealand. Of the biotechnology techniques used by New Zealand organisations in 2005, 66 percent were being used at the research and development (R&D) stage.

The most common biotechnology technique being used in the R&D development stage was DNA sequencing/synthesis/amplification, and the most common technique overall was fermentation and bioprocessing. In the two years to June 2005, 190 biotechnology-related patents were granted to New Zealand organisations. Of these patents, the private sector was responsible for the most patents (92), followed by the public sector (65), and the higher education sector (33). Statistics NZ will publish a detailed report on results from the Biotechnology Survey 2005 in June 2006.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician


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