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Biontech accounts for almost a fifth of German economic growth


The upturn in the German economy last year would have been much smaller without Biontech's Covid vaccine - economic researchers and statisticians are convinced of that.

Enlarge image

One of many honors:

Uğur Şahin

(r) and

Özlem Türeci

in Berlin in March last year


Bernd von Jutrczenka - Pool / Getty Images

The Biontech founders

Uğur Şahin

(56) and

Özlem Türeci (54)

have already received many an honor for their research, such as the Federal Cross of Merit or inclusion in the "Hall of Fame" of German research. Other assessments now show that their contribution to combating the global coronavirus pandemic cannot be overestimated.

Because the upswing in the German economy last year would probably have been much smaller without the success of Biontech with its Covid 19 vaccine.

The now world-famous Mainz-based company probably contributed around 0.5 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP), estimate both the Institute for Macroeconomics and Business Cycle Research (IMK), which is close to the trade unions, and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

"There is a clear biontech effect," said the scientific director of the IMK,

Sebastian Dullien

, on Friday of the Reuters news agency.

"I can't remember that a single German company has ever contributed so much to growth"

Sebastian Dullien,

Scientific Director of the IMK

According to an initial estimate by the Federal Statistical Office, Europe's largest economy grew by 2.7 percent in 2021, without Biontech's success it would only have been 2.2 percent.

"I can't remember that a single German company has ever contributed so much to growth," said Dullien.

IfW economics chief

Nils Jannsen agrees


The license income from the vaccine developer Biontech, which was due at the end of the year, was included in the calculation of the gross domestic product for the first time.

"Gross domestic product is likely to have been boosted by about half a percent in 2021 by Biontech," he told Reuters.

"It's a special case."

The effect is reflected, among other things, in service exports.

The statistical office confirmed that Biontech has boosted the economy noticeably.

"The influence is noticeable, that's clear," said Michael Kuhn from the Federal Statistical Office.

However, the authority did not want to comment more precisely.

"We will not provide any information about individual companies," even if the topic interests many.

Biontech earned around 17 billion euros with the Covid vaccine

According to its own statements, Biontech generated sales of between 16 and 17 billion euros last year with its corona vaccine - the company's first product to be available on the market since it was founded in 2008.

That's a huge leap: in 2020, sales were less than half a billion.

"This is a massive increase that affects the entire German economic growth," said Dullien.

In addition, Biontech obtains comparatively few preliminary products from abroad that would have to be deducted from the production value for the GDP calculation.

"So that's almost purely domestic value creation," said Dullien.

"That has a direct positive effect on economic growth."

Biontech has the vaccine based on the new mRNA technology produced in Marburg, for example, and also collects billions in fees from its US partner Pfizer.

The impressive success of Biontech shows that there is an excellent research landscape in Germany, says Dullien.


Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-01-14

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