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In overall output, no one comes close to the U.S.

Although a country’s capabilities in biotechnology depend on many factors, perhaps the most important is gross productivity. Innovation is not worth much if it cannot be commercialized, and that’s what our Productivity category measures. We compute productivity using two metrics: “public company revenues,” and the “number of public companies” (Lawrence, S. & Lähteenmäki, R. Nat. Biotechnol. 32, 626–632 (2014), and company disclosures). We favor public companies because—relative to private firms—their reporting requirements provide transparency, making it easier to compare them objectively. Further, it stands to reason that a nation with a favorable business climate will support the development of more public companies. In combination, these metrics assess a country’s productivity.

The United States—the longstanding leader in this category—remains at the top. In fact, the U.S. runs away with this metric, finishing well ahead of all competitors. Australia and the United Kingdom follow in second and third place, respectively, as they did last year, but far behind the front-runner.

  • A Guided Tour

    Enhanced with a new guidebook and region-specific ratings, the 2016 Scorecard ventures deeper than ever to track down the latest in biotech innovation