Berlin (dpa / lby) - According to its own information, the Federal Ministry of Research will invest almost 1.6 billion euros in research on Covid-19 in 2020 and 2021.

Around 627 million euros of this will go to the vaccine manufacturers Biontech in Mainz and Curevac in Tübingen.

In 2020, the federal government spent almost 2.9 billion euros on health research and the economy, including 2.6 billion euros through the Ministry of Research.

According to a ministry spokesman, the federal government provides the money for corona research in addition to these ongoing expenses.

The main actors in institutional corona research include the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research (HZI) and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF).

The HZI, in which 33 groups are currently working on research into Covid-19, received a good 32 million euros.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 17 projects at the DZIF have dealt with SARS-CoV-2, for which the DZIF has made 5.8 million euros available.

The DZIF has been working on corona research in ten other projects for several years.

Between 2016 and 2015, almost 27.5 million euros are available for this.

Over the past ten years, the ministry has steadily increased its budget for health research - which includes biotechnology.

While just under 1.9 billion euros flowed into this area in 2010, it was almost 2.5 billion euros in 2019.


The biotech association Bio Deutschland is also recording increasing numbers: in 2020 the industry raised three billion euros in equity.

Here, too, the majority - around half - went to Biontech and Curevac.

The industry is counting on a positive effect from the Corona crisis, especially in financing.

Corona has made it clear how specifically each individual is dependent on medical research, says the managing director of Bio Germany, Viola Bronsema.

The industry is demanding more tax incentives from politicians for private investments in biotech companies.

Germany is in danger of being left behind worldwide, says Michael Motschmann, founder of the MIG fund in Munich.

The company is one of the main donors of Biontech.

"We have to demand and promote innovation financing more strongly."

Michael Kring, CFO of Actitrexx in Mainz, also knows how time-consuming it is to raise money.

The start-up is working on therapies against rejection reactions in transplants and had hoped for funding of ten million euros.

The company then received 3.5 million euros from an investor consortium and a further 5.5 million euros from a grant from the Research Ministry - but also lost two years of time in its development plan.


© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210420-99-271413 / 2

Federal Report on Research and Innovation 2020