According to IBM’s Global Investment Location Database (GILD), developing Asia accounted for 26% of medtech foreign direct projects in 2004, a 40% rise on 2003, at 150 projects. On a global basis, the main recipient market was still the US, followed by India and China.

In Europe, says Ernst and Young’s European Investment Monitor (EIM), the 200 recorded medtech projects meant a 15% increase over 2003. The main recipient markets are still the UK (23%) and France (18%). The main growth destination was in central and eastern Europe, accounting for 20% of investments in 2004.

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The source of these investments, taken on a global basis, has changed, according to GILD. The leading investors are now western European companies, increasing their share of projects from 37% to 42%. This is followed by north America, which accounts for 32%.

This is backed up by EIM, which says the origin of investment in Europe is primarily coming from within Europe itself – 50% of projects in Europe came from elsewhere on the continent.

India’s share as a source of projects has more than doubled and accounts for 3% of investments into Europe. This trend is set to continue in 2005 as India’s intellectual property laws have been changed, forcing Indian companies to globalise in order to remain competitive.

On the job creation front, the picture in Europe for life science projects is similar to all other sectors – an increased number of projects, but a decrease in the total number of jobs created. The average numbers of jobs created per project has fallen by 28%. This may well have been driven by the growth of R&D projects, which have jumped from 19% to 28% of all projects identified.

Though the upturn in activity is not producing jobs in the short term, in the longer term, job creation will rise as projects evolve into larger investments.

Peter Lemagnen is a director of Oxford Intelligence.

E-mail:peter.lemagnen@oxint.com