Europe's research structure is still an obstacle to the growth of biotech, according to the European Commission's Competitive Report 2001. The report, which is focused on the competitiveness of Europe compared to the U.S., includes for the first time a whole chapter analyzing the state of the European biotech industry. The authors conclude that one of the main reasons Europe still lags significantly behind the U.S. is its late entry into the field, which in turn had systemic causes that have not been fully resolved.

According to the report, the European research system is still too rigid, bureaucratic, and segregated. "(It) is weak in terms of organizational diversity, it is specialized in rather narrow areas and is insufficiently interconnected across different research areas, types of organizations and stages of the research process."