10 Nov Wisconsin biotech execs wary about the future
Madison, Wis. – Wisconsin’s biotechnology and medical device executives are bullish on the present, but roughly half of have them are worried about the long term, according to the inaugural Wisconsin BioIndustry Outlook survey conducted by the Wisconsin Biotechnology and Medical Device Association and the state Department of Commerce.
More than 70 percent of the bioscience executives who responded to the survey rated the current condition of the state’s biotech industry as excellent or good, but even though the are optimistic about the future prospects for their own company, they were evenly split on whether the industry would continue to advance during the next year. Eighty-five percent of respondents ranked the prospects for their company as excellent or good, and more than three-quarters of them expect conditions to improve for their company during the next 12 months.
Their most pressing concerns identified in the survey included access to capital, getting products to market quickly, and the availability of labor.
Access to capital was cited by 45 percent of the respondents as the greatest challenge facing their company, followed by speed to market, 35 percent, and the availability of talented executives and other key personnel, 20 percent.
Nearly half of the executives (48 percent) rated the availability of capital to their company as only fair or poor, while 42 percent rated it as good. Despite some improvements on both the the angel capital and venture capital front, only eight percent believe that access to capital would improve, while 82 percent believe it will remain the same.
Most respondents, 83 percent, said they will be hiring additional employees over the next year, 64 percent believe their ability to fill those needs is good, and about one-fifth rated it as fair.
Forty-nine percent of respondents identified the need for scientists trained in their company’s discipline as their most acute personnel need during the next year, followed by manufacturing and non-specialized research and development technicians, which was listed by 25 percent of respondents. More than 25 percent do not anticipate having trouble filling personnel needs.
Executives list several positives, including strong innovation and creativity. Stimulating ongoing innovation was mentioned the least frequently (12 percent) as a challenge.
The Wisconsin BioIndustry Outlook will be conducted quarterly by the Wisconsin Biotechnology and Medical Device Association and the state Department of Commerce. The same series of questions will be asked each quarter to gauge executives’ perceptions of the state of the bioscience industry and their company’s prospects for growth, capital formation, and other business development factors.
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