Wisconsin's biotech industry is showing signs of confidence in the face of the economic downturn. Executives with the state's biotechnology firms are meeting in Waukesha this week, and the latest survey of them shows an industry facing the future with confidence.
"Seventy percent still saw the industry as being in pretty good shape," said Wisconsin Biotech and Medical Instrument Association CEO Jim Leonhart. "Three fourths of the executives even felt that their own companies were going to come out of this okay." The findings are contained in the most recent Wisconsin Biotechnology Index. A similar survey from WBMA was released in October of 2007, and not surpringinly, the dramatic changes in the perceptions of senior biotechnology and medical device executives deal with the availability of capital.
Forty-three percent of those who responded to the third-quarter 2008 survey rated the availability of capital as only fair, an increase of more than 10 percent from the October 2007 survey. Only 29 percent rated the availability of capital as good, a decline of nearly 14 percent from a year ago. A full quarter of survey respondents rated capital availability as poor, an increase of 10 percent from the year-ago survey. Still, Leonhart remains optmistic, noting that the investment industry has continuned to stay in touch. "I think they've probabley been a little more cautious, but they continue to staty in touch," he said "And we're helping our industry leaders find alternatives."
"The signs are pretty health," said Leonhart. "I think I'm being pretty realistic that we have growth opportunity there, in spite of the economic noise of the moment."