- The Washington Times - Monday, February 24, 2003

SINGAPORE, Feb. 25 (UPI) — Bio-IT spending in the Australia and New Zealand will more than double its current amount to reach $655 million by 2006, according to the research firm IDC.

However, the two countries are more likely to lose than gain market shares in the regional Bio-IT market as others increase investments in that sector.

One of the top 10 bio-environments worldwide, Bio-IT adoption in the two countries should increase at a compound annual rate of 37 percent, IDC predicts, fueled both by private and public investments as organizations adopt new biology methods in the area of life sciences.

"The governments have set the ground works for the advancement of the life sciences market. The maturity of organizations in the sector continues to increase their use of the latest and most advanced technologies in the area of biotechnology. IDC expects to see some notable successes arise from domains even in the field of proteomics," said Daphne Chung, senior analyst for life sciences and healthcare research at IDC Asia/Pacific.

"However, ANZ is more likely to lose than gain market share in the regional Bio-IT market as other countries such as Singapore, India, China and Taiwan ramp up their investments and focus on growing their Life Sciences market," Chung added.

The Asia/Pacific region excluding Japan has more than 320 biotech firms, of which 250 are publicly listed. The sector employs more than 6,500 researchers. Early initiatives by the Australian and New Zealand governments have placed the countries some years ahead of others in the region. Most notable are government policies aimed at driving commercial research out of the public sector, which IDC views as key to building a long-term, sustainable, life sciences industry.

It is these hands-on policies that could compensate for lower levels of public investment than those of developing Asian economies, IDC said.

While the Australian Bio-IT market is dominated by private sector expenditure, the New Zealand market is dominated by public sector expenditure, with the majority of it still tied into the academic sector. IDC predicts that by 2006, private sector spending will increase and dominate the Bio-IT expenditure in both countries, but the shifts in the New Zealand market will be more marked.

The largest jump would occur in the Biotech sector in New Zealand where IDC expects its revenue share to increase from 14 percent to 30 percent, more than doubling its percentage of the Bio-IT expenditure pie.

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