The number of enterprises carrying out activities in biotechnology reached 363 in 2019, the country’s statistical authority announced Friday.

Research and development (R&D) expenditures of the enterprises in 2019 rose to around 324.5 million Turkish liras ($57.13 million), which was nearly 276 million Turkish liras ($57.2 million) in the previous year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).

The average US dollar / Turkish lira exchange rate was 5.68 in 2019 and 4.82 in 2018.

According to TurkStat, human health ranked first among the biotechnology applications. “37.2% of 363 enterprises engaged in biotechnology used biotechnology for human health, while 33.6% of them for agricultural biotechnology and 26.7% of them for environment in 2019,” it said.

In the last year, the most used technique was DNA/RNA with 214 enterprises. This was followed by “process biotechnology techniques” and “cell and tissue culture and engineering” — both were used by 119 enterprises — and “proteins and other molecules” used by 118 enterprises.

Noting that the number of biotechnology employees was 1,821 in 2019, TurkStat said: “Regarding educational level of these employees, 18% of them were doctoral or equivalent, 24.2% of them were master’s or equivalent, 39.5% of them were bachelor’s or equivalent.”

According to 363 enterprises, the most vital barrier to biotechnology R&D activities was “access to capital” with 60.3%, followed by “access to skilled human resources” with 51%.

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