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Which Trends are Defining Life Sciences in Europe?

The European life sciences industry is still on an upward trajectory.

Venture Capital (VC) financing in the European life sciences sector in Europe grew by 65% year-over-year, totalling more than $13.6bn, with deal volume/value increasing much faster than deal count.

The top markets in Europe – UK, Germany, France, and the Nordic countries – account for more than 65% of the total European VC deal volume, and there are interesting trends emerging in these locations and Europe at large.

With this positive outlook comes curiosity around what comes next for the industry and how exactly certain trends will define the landscape of life sciences in Europe.

For MSPs in particular, it’s important to have a strong knowledge of trends in the industry to best be able to align market trends with client expectations.

Which trends are defining life sciences in Europe (and how)?

Digitalisation The innovation that occurred during the pandemic was, in many ways, bolstered by the advances in technology and its uses in the industry. Research has indicated that 70% of European healthcare and life sciences organisations have joined or plan to join a digitally enabled industry ecosystem as part of their digital innovation efforts. Digitalisation is also impacting the way in which life sciences organisations interact with patients – over 60% of European healthcare providers invested in telehealth initiatives in 2021, planning to invest more in 2022. In addition to this, over 65% of European life science companies plan to invest in digital patient engagement initiatives this year. In the same way that the healthcare sector is seeing the benefits of digitalisation, laboratories are also starting to see the benefits. Being able to monitor usage, minimise downtime, and reduce equipment failures are just a few of the ways that digitalisation is advantageous for maximising the use of equipment in laboratories. This shift could mean that MSPs need to prioritise digital skillsets for their clients, which are in high demand across industries. Consequently, MSPs may find that there needs to be an adjustment in job expectations on the client’s end to account for the competitive digital skills market. Data becoming central to processes The Life Sciences 2030 Skills Strategy report discussed how skills around digital, computational, and statistical literacy are pivotal to the growth and innovation of the industry – MSPs will likely see higher demand from clients in these areas. Part of this demand is due to the rise of big data in life sciences, as more data- and statistic-proficient talent will be necessary to analyse large datasets and be familiar with big data technologies to maximise the benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Insights from big data sources could reduce the cost of trials in the long term by enrolling patients that are most aligned with the treatment, which can significantly cut down the length of trials and improve their design. The use of big data has also improved genomics, giving the ability to profile genes on a much wider scale to look for patterns and similarities. For life sciences companies, however, the challenge is managing the masses of data that are being generated – as more life sciences companies form big data strategies, they will need talent to uphold it, which MSPs can collaborate to provide. MSPs may find themselves facing barriers when trying to find talent with these skills but a specialist recruitment partner will likely have a network of professionals to put forth for these roles. Location frontrunners There are and have always been frontrunners in the life sciences industry, particularly in Europe. The likes of Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and the UK – many locations consistently rank highly for their innovation, growth, and level of investment. One region is gaining increasing interest, however. Benelux – the region covering Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg – is home to two of the top European biotech companies to watch in 2022, having consistently had entries on the list. According to McKinsey, Benelux has many of the resources to become the leading biotech hub, from its 29 million inhabitants, to its €115m of venture funding raised per year, €19bn collective market cap of top 3 life science players, and the €15bn contributed to its GDP. Of particular note to MSPs is the strong connection between the world-class universities and medical centres in the Benelux region. With the region being home to 5% of the top 100 life sciences universities in the world, this is a talent pipeline in the area that MSPs could benefit immensely from in such an up-and-coming location. A balance between candidate and business needs The hiring market in life sciences is candidate-driven, as we’ve discussed in previous blog posts. A positive investment outlook in the industry will generally coincide with a period of growth, meaning that the hiring needs of many life sciences businesses will change due to their efforts to scale up. MSPs are in a critical position to meet these needs and expectations by strongly communicating between both candidates and clients, whether this is to convey the expectations of the client to the candidate or to inform candidates along each stage of the process. A competitive hiring market also means that a specialist recruitment partner is more essential than ever before for MSPs in finding and securing the best candidates, making collaboration the key element for success across all fronts. The bottom line Trends in the life sciences industry aren’t occurring in isolation. Each trend will significantly impact the way in which MSPs can secure skilled candidates and the way in which life sciences companies will grow in the coming years. Digitalisation and technology have been hugely significant in the pandemic efforts, meaning that as the technology used to assist in pandemic efforts is more widely adopted, the talent to provide the skills to benefit from it is also necessary. Locations such as the Benelux region are also an up-and-coming area of note, with strong talent pipelines and life sciences infrastructure. MSPs that focus on delivering the best results by staying knowledgeable on these trends and working with them will help clients to continue growing and innovating. Get in touch Panda International is trusted by leading life sciences companies worldwide to provide the very best contingent talent and deliver seamless candidate experiences. For more information on how we work and what we can do for you and your clients, contact us today.