Multiple factors have pushed Iceland as a favorite destination for biosciences and biotechnology companies. The Nordic country appears to present the right conditions for setting up research units and carryon production in this sector. If you prepared a list of requirements for setting up biotech companies and start ticking the boxes against each of the listed items, most boxes in Iceland will get ticked. One of the major inputs you need in this sector is educated manpower. Iceland can provide enough and more qualified technical personnel. There is a supportive government as well. Iceland biotech companies can therefore look forward to growing aggressively in the years to come.
Financial and Other Incentives for Biotech Companies
Some of the direct benefits that companies enjoy while making investments in Iceland include subsidies from the government. There are investment agreements you can enter into where the Iceland government and the local regional setups too offer incentives. This is in addition to the benefits available under the European Union for companies engaged in research and development (R & D). There are also certain benefits available for companies that are classified as small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The other advantage that Iceland biotech companies can hope to enjoy is the low rate of corporate tax in the country. If you wish to build new infrastructure for your project, you can identify and purchase land at competitive prices. There is no dearth of energy supply in Iceland. You can count on green energy at very low rates.
All these contribute to saving considerable amounts of investments as far as the investor is concerned.
Benefits for Foreign Experts in Iceland
The present personal income tax regime in Iceland allows for tax deductions for foreign nationals working and earning in Iceland subject to certain conditions being met. This helps companies in the biotech sector to establish their presence here and encourage their top experts to come down to Iceland to share their expertise and experience. This will also help in creating a pool of local Icelanders gaining precious knowledge directly from such experts.
The Knowledge Base Advantage
Iceland has built a strong scientific community over the years. The example frequently cited is that of the Vatnsmýri Science Park in the capital Reykjavik. The major objective of setting up this park is to encourage the participation of the academic community with those in the industry. One of the key sectors the Vatnsmýri Science Park has included to focus on is the biotechnology sector. Iceland biotech companies stand to gain a lot through these interactions.
The University of Iceland offers post-graduate and doctorate courses in a variety of subjects like biochemistry, bioengineering, bioinformatics, and biostatistics. Other universities in the country would be offering similar courses. Students coming out of these courses can be absorbed by the Iceland biotech companies and given initial training. This kind of facility may not be available in many other countries.
Some of the Leading Biotech Firms in Iceland
Many prominent names in the biosciences sector have set up their operations in Iceland. One of them is deCode which works on researching the human genome.
The other players in the sector include ORF Genetics Ltd. This Reykjavik-based company is into the production of recombinant proteins. They are engaged in a lot of research work too in the related fields.
Primex ehf is another biotech company in Iceland. It supplies chitin and chitosan derivatives. This company is a global player. They can access cold water shrimps from the North Atlantic waters for their production.
Besides these, Alvotech, again headquartered in Reykjavik, is a major global player in several areas of biotechnology. Matis and NoxMedical are other notable biotech companies operating in Iceland.