Transparency 46: Biotechnology transparency situation, three years later.
VETERINARY DIGITAL has been concerned on two occasions of biotechnology status in Spain. Leaving aside the recognized fact leaving aside the fact recognized of the adequacy of academic curriculum of studies of Biotechnology at Spanish university is becoming more apparent divorce between university education and business management.
In January 2011 and January 2012 we published two blogs on the status of biotechnology companies. Let the reader reproduce the part of those blogs:
1. Transparency 12; January 17, 2011 published: Between the Ministry of Health and Industry.
A general director of pharmacy and health products at the Ministry of Health and president of the commission of Drug Evaluation, had been General Director of the Ministry of Industry and previously vice president of the board of CDTI, organism that approves the granting of economic industries including pharmaceutical industries funds. Regina Revilla Pedreira name is currently director of external relations at Merck Sharp & Dohme in Spain, and holds the position of president of the Spanish Association of Biotechnology (ASEBIO), replacing the Minister for Science and Innovation, Cristina Garmendia, which in instead is founder of the biotechnology company Genetrix in 2000. The Spanish Association of Biotechnology Companies is comprised of more than 130 members, mostly small businesses created from research universities and national research centers.
2. Transparency 23; of January 9, 2012 published:
A) Juan Tomas Hernani, identified as the alleged diverter of public funds to private enterprises in his family, was president of CDTI organism that approves the award of grants and financial industries including the pharmaceutical industry funds.
B) Juan Tomas Hernani was Secretary General of Innovation, Ministry of Science and Innovation for 2009,2010 and 2011 as confidence by Minister Cristina Garmendia.
C) Cristina Garmendia was Minister of Education and Science between 2008-2010 and founder of the biotechnology company Genetrix in 2000 and president of the Spanish Association of Biotechnology (ASEBIO).
D) Between 2007 and 2010 biotechnological companies received 2.128 million euros (353.248 million pesetas) in grants while billing, of the biotechnology sector in the period 2007-2010 was about 3,950 million euros.
In Digital Veterinary we ask ourselves until when this situation that will remain are mixed, until it are confused, industry, public agencies that provide financial funds to industries, public office founders of companies, research centers that create companies, former public office in a sector that happen to preside business associations previously regulated industry, directors of associations that go direct government agencies that regulate the activity of companies whose association were previously presidents, public officials who run business advisory firms whose activity is regulated by the administrative department which they preside.
3. It seems that after three years, we have the answer. According to Jorge Barrero chief of staff Cristina Garmendia when he was Minister of Science and currently serves as Assistant to the President of Asebio: "It's like bringing a car to 200 mph and give you a smack" and added: "We have never been so close goal and have never been so close to the abyss. " It is understandable the reference to the abyss, can occur when the capacity of self is lost subsidized and funded, however, we fail to understand what is the goal to which reference is made. We have serious fears and doubts to be a case over the so-called revolving door (whether it be from the regulator administration for industry or association of industries that were regulated) we noted in 2012.
4. Effectively after receiving 2.128 million euros between 2007 and 2010 equivalent to 53.87% of the total turnover of the sector started declining investment in R & D fell 5.3% in 2011, and 2.7% in 2012,while the number of biotechnology patents fell more than 15%, and 94 companies have disappeared from 2008-2013, and although 71 new companies have formed the balance is negative (one 15.64% of the 147 existing in 2008). Also among the few surviving formed as a spin-off of public entities have sold their results to private industry and finally others have been bought in its entirety by other companies in the biotechnology sector.
5. Almost everyone accepts that the grant can be justified as a means to undertake or to start a new economic sector by the characteristics of its technology, with clear legislative uncertainties and economic risks. However many people may think that within the industry ethical and innovative entrepreneurs are mixed with less transparent than the first people, and the present situation of the biotechnology industry in early 2015, is the result of what we pointed out in early 2013: "situation in which are mixed with industry, government agencies that provide financial funds to industries, public office founders companies, research centers that create enterprises, former public office in a sector that happen to preside business associations previously regulated industry, directors of associations that go to direct government agencies that regulate the activity of companies whose association Presidian previously charged directing public business advisory firms whose activity is regulated by the administrative department which they preside "
6. From Digital Veterinary still waiting for the biotechnology sector is sanitized
once and for all, into a path of growth and development of technologies should not use again to the proverbial subsidy of 53% of its sales, thereby demonstrating that the purpose of the grants received served its true purpose and avoiding that leading companies choose to settle fully or partially in other countries as has been happening gradually over the years.