For a number of years the future has been more promising than the present. So, what awaits the bioscience sector in future? Worldwide, the sector has gone through steady rates of growth, boldly defying the economic crisis.
There are changes taking place in the healthcare field which border on nothing short of revolutionary: more efficient and focused products; combined diagnostics and therapy; and the unstoppable growth of generic medicines. In essence, the new business models which have developed around biotechnology have shaken the very foundation of the industry, yet they have doubtlessly resulted in a more fortified sector.
Health related technologies are currently growing at an exponential rate, albeit in a setting which is becoming increasingly complex; new equipment and diagnostic equipment, along with medical technologies which no-one would have even dreamt of well over a decade ago, are now a reality. Furthermore, low-cost technological solutions designed for emerging economies are popping up around the world, and personalised medicine will be here in the medium term, along with the entire transformation of how patients are treated. All of these changes are producing opportunities which have been unheard of until now.
Furthermore, the growth of pharmaceuticals in an ongoing consolidation of the sector, and the trend away from traditional activities towards more technological activities, both foretell even greater changes for the sector. However, owing to its novelty, it is possibly in the field of industrial biotechnology where the greatest expectations are being placed. With the introduction of biological materials in manufacturing, a revolution in industrial materials and processes can be expected. Moreover, the industry is under pressure to increase sustainability while procuring more resources in the search for either enhanced or new properties in their products, as well as taking strides towards more stable and efficient manufacturing processes.
In a sector which is constantly reinventing itself, a world of new opportunities is opening up for biosciences: products are being created by using synthetic biology; renewable chemicals; its application to 3D manufacturing; combining nanotechnology with biotechnology; the possibilities of increasing computing capacity for the application of models from nature to manufacturing. The means and technological capacities are now a reality and are all around us.
The biggest challenge, though, lies in applying them in companies to resolve current problems, as well as anticipating the future by choosing the right niches where there is greater capacity to compete, in a setting dominated by large and voracious contenders.
What path will Basque biosciences companies take? Regardless of the one they choose, I have no doubt that that it will be a fascinating trip.