1st Biotech Report
Milan - The Politecnico of Milan - School of Management and Assobiotec (National Association for the Development of Biotechnology) recently organized a conference in Milan to present the first report on the biotech cluster in Lombardia: In the area of Milan (Lombardia) an early-stage biotech cluster started in the mid '90s that currently includes 12 biotech companies with more than 500 employees. The majority of these companies have as their core business the development of therapeutics. The cluster shows some interesting features that make it quite a unique case in Europe: Despite the relative youth of the cluster, the average size of companies is similar to international level (41 employees per company, the same as for Cambridge, UK). However, this is the result of the specific process of foundation: the large majority was founded as industrial spin-offs from large companies. Despite a significant presence of scientists in universities and research centres (nearly 800 researchers) there are no academic spin-offs. The growth of the cluster was “financially” supported by foreign venture capital and governmental funds even if in a lack of a common strategic framework at local level. The report discusses possible actions (e.g. technology transfer offices, price-competitive supporting infrastructures) in order to leverage existing favourable conditions and to strengthen the process of development of the cluster.