The Italian biomedical Industry: facts, figures and trends

The Italian biomedical industry has emerged as a leading sector within the country’s economy, contributing significantly to healthcare advances, research and development.

It has experienced steady growth over the years, fueled by technological advances, increased R&D investments, and a robust healthcare infrastructure. According to recent data, in 2021 it generated a market of 16.2 billion euros between exports and the domestic market; in 2025 it is estimated 587 billion euros, with a growth rate of 7% between 2016 and 2025.

A heterogeneous and highly specialized sector, during the Covid-19 Pandemic it was able to deal with the crisis in an excellent way, responding promptly to market needs. It has approximately 4,546 companies and 112,534 employees. Of these, 2,523 deal with production, 1,643 with distribution and 380 with services. The entrepreneurial fabric of the sector is characterized by a strong prevalence of SMEs.

Italy is a moderate innovator, according to the European Innovation Scoreboard. Spending on research and innovation is lower than the EU average, but several prestigious universities, research institutes and private companies are collaborating to conduct cutting-edge research.

The Italian biomedical industry is concentrated in specific regions, the so-called biomedical districts, where companies, research institutions and healthcare facilities collaborate closely. Notable biomedical clusters in Italy include Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Lazio. These clusters promote synergies, knowledge exchange and collaboration, further stimulating innovation and growth.

Medical device manufacturing: Italy has a strong presence in medical device manufacturing, ranging from high-tech imaging equipment to surgical instruments. Italian medical device manufacturers are renowned for their quality, precision and technological expertise. The sector employs a significant number of skilled professionals and contributes to both domestic consumption and exports.

Pharmaceutical Industry: Italy boasts a robust pharmaceutical industry, with numerous multinational and national companies engaged in the research, development and production of pharmaceutical products. The industry focuses on various therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular disease, oncology, neurology, and immunology. The Italian pharmaceutical sector contributes to the country’s economy through exports and domestic consumption.

Digital Health and Telemedicine: With the growing importance of digital health and telemedicine, the Italian biomedical industry has embraced technological advances to improve patient care and healthcare delivery. Startups and established companies are developing innovative digital health solutions, such as mobile health applications, remote monitoring devices and teleconsultation platforms, to improve the accessibility and efficiency of health services.

International collaboration: The Italian biomedical industry is actively engaged in international collaboration, collaborating with research institutes, universities and companies from all over the world. Collaborative efforts aim to leverage expertise, share knowledge, and accelerate scientific discoveries. Furthermore, international collaborations promote cross-border investment, technology transfer and market expansion opportunities.

While the Italian biomedical industry demonstrates significant potential, it also faces challenges. These include regulatory processes, limited access to capital for startups, and competition from global players. To overcome these challenges, industry stakeholders are advocating for regulatory reforms, increased financial support and strategic partnerships. The future outlook remains positive as the sector continues to innovate and adapt to emerging healthcare needs.

The Italian biomedical industry is a vibrant and thriving sector that contributes to scientific advances, economic growth and improved healthcare outcomes. With its strong R&D ecosystem, biomedical clusters, and expertise in manufacturing medical devices and pharmaceuticals, Italy is well positioned to further enhance its global presence in the biomedical field. By tackling challenges and fostering collaboration, the industry is poised to lead innovation and positively impact people’s lives around the world.