Greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets shows that global FDI in the biotechnology sector has been steadily increasing from 2015 to 2018.

In 2015, 97 biotechnology projects were recorded with a capital expenditure of $3.87bn and 5225 new jobs created. In 2016, 98 projects were recorded and capital expenditure and the number of new jobs created increased to $4.88bn and 7453 respectively.


In 2017, project numbers increased by 25.5% to 123 and the number of jobs created increased to 8589. In contrast, capital expenditure during the year decreased to $4.38bn.

In 2018, project numbers once again increased to 156 while capital expenditure and the number of jobs created witnessed an increase of 62.6% and 31.2% respectively. During 2018, 116 companies invested in biotechnology projects globally, which represents the highest number of investing companies since fDi Markets began recording data in 2003, and an increase of 12.6% from the previous year.

Between January 2015 and December 2018, the US was the key recipient for biotechnology investment attracting 30.2% of the 474 projects recorded. Massachusetts won the lion’s share of US investments, with tech hubs Boston and Cambridge attracting 17 and 16 biotechnology investments respectively. San Diego, California followed in third place with 10 investments. 

Globally, the UK ranked in second place, attracting 52 projects and China ranked third attracting 38 projects.

The primary source market for biotechnology projects was also the US, which invested in 133 projects. Germany invested in the second-highest number of projects with 46, closely followed by Japan with 44. 

Looking ahead, data available for the first three quarters of 2019 show a decrease in project numbers of 16.2% in comparison to the same period in the previous year. It remains to be seen, however, whether the final quarter will turn things around and with 29 signals recorded for the biotechnology sector during the first nine months of 2019 the future looks promising.