The National Agency for the Promotion of Research, Technological Development, and Innovation (Agencia I+D+i), in conjunction with the Argentine Nanotechnology Foundation (FAN), the Argentine Chamber of Biotechnology (CAB), which represents private entities in the sector, the Federal Council for Investments, and the Research Center for Transformation at the National University of San Martín (UNSAM), conducted a national census to determine the total number and main characteristics of biotechnology and nanotechnology companies and startups in Argentina.
The census identified 340 biotechnology companies in the country, mainly distributed across the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fé, Córdoba, and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. It also highlighted a substantial presence of companies in the provinces of Mendoza and Tucumán. This number positions Argentina as the 10th country in terms of the quantity of companies in the sector globally, surpassing countries like Denmark, Norway, and Austria. Additionally, the census identified 33 nanotechnology companies, along with 74 companies working simultaneously in nano and biotechnology for product and service provision, primarily located in Buenos Aires, the City of Buenos Aires, and Córdoba province.
Results also revealed that out of the total, 77 of the surveyed biotechnology companies focus on agricultural biotechnology, and 73 on human health, while 13 out of the 33 identified nanotechnology companies specialize in nanotechnology.
In 2022, Argentina’s biotechnology industry generated sales worth USD 1.323 billion, exported USD 216 million, and provided 19,821 jobs, with 2,072 dedicated solely to research and development activities. Moreover, nanotechnology companies achieved sales of USD 88 million, exports of USD 4.8 billion, and offered 961 jobs, with 117 related to R&D activities.
Furthermore, the census revealed that 27% of the biotechnology workforce holds at least a university degree, 6% possess a doctorate, and an additional 6% have other postgraduate degrees (master’s and/or specializations). Women represent 50% of the total entrepreneurial teams, highlighting the biotechnology sector’s role in generating highly skilled jobs within the Knowledge Economy.
Presenting the results were Fernando Peirano, President of the Agencia I+D+i; Laura Toledo, Vice President of FAN and National Director of FONARSEC; Federico Trucco, President of CAB; Graciela Ciccia (INSUD/CAB); Sergio Drucaroff (CAB Executive Coordinator); Martín Alfie from the Federal Investment Council (CFI); Javier Viqueira from Adox; Marcelo Paz, Dean of the School of Economics and Business at UNSAM, and Lilia Stubrin from the Research Center for Transformation at UNSAM, the entity in charge of conducting the census.
“This census is one of the latest milestones in our management. Our administration was characterized by the drive to make and transform. These results will serve as public assets aiding in forming a map of actors, investments, impact, and opportunities generated by the biotechnology and nanotechnology sectors in our country,” expressed Fernando Peirano, President of the Agencia I+D+i.
Federico Trucco, President of CAB, stated, “The Census is a valuable effort allowing us to visualize this sector’s virtuous dynamics, measure the impact of public policies, and identify areas for improvement to sustain accelerated biotechnology growth.“
Laura Toledo, FONARSEC Director and FAN Vice President, emphasized, “Now we have numbers to share: the sales, employees, export potential. A wealth of information crucial for designing public policies that, until now, was lacking. Having the support of the Agencia I+D+i for this methodological approach, compared with international studies, is a significant milestone for Argentina’s new technologies.“
The Bio-Nano Census was jointly promoted by the National Agency for the Promotion of Research, Technological Development, and Innovation, the Argentine Chamber of Biotechnology, the Argentine Nanotechnology Foundation, the Federal Council for Investments, the Interdisciplinary Center for Studies in Science, Technology, and Innovation, and the National University of San Martín. It received support from the governments of Córdoba and Santa Fe provinces to facilitate the survey of companies. The aim is to update this data biannually to keep the information current and offer insights into the sector’s perspectives and economic performance.