Keywords:business development, business planning, Canada, risk management
Critical success factors and performance indicators provide the biotechnology industry with a foundation on which to grow and manage risks. In a recent survey of 247 biotechnology companies across Canada, elements critical for sustainability in the industry were investigated. The industry's dependence on intellectual property (IP) protection and strategic product development were significant findings with the top five critical factors being entrepreneurial environment, product distribution to target market, product focus, policies to protect IP and value of the firm's knowledge assets. When the data set was segregated based on stage of company development, there was a shift in what was considered a priority. Earlier stage companies, not yet self-sustaining, are more focused on funding with a dependence on external factors such as government support. The later stage companies, having access to product-derived funds, are more able to build internal resources with programmes directed at retaining and educating employees. Even with divergent interests, regardless of stage of company, IP and knowledge assets are key elements for success in this research and development rich industry. By understanding critical factors and changing priorities during business development, the industry will service an unmet need, facilitating modification of current marketing and business structure models. The results will promote sustainability in the industry as a whole.