Colombia: The second most diverse country on the planet

  • Colombia is the country with the highest biodiversity per square meter in the world.
  • The country is home to 10% of the different life forms in only 0,7% of the planet’s surface.
  • It is the third country in terms of ecosystems, wildlife, and hydric resources conservation; after Brazil and Costa Rica.
  • It has a wide variety of climates.
  • The country has strong investment commitment in science, technology, and innovation.
  • Last year, the R&D and innovation segments were the main object of science investment, with 42% and 23% respectively. 

Investment in R&D activities in Colombia

Source: Observatory of Science, Technology and Innovation (2015). 

Bogota and Cundinamarca have a solid business network that includes dynamic companies, which demand biotechnological products in the following segments:

  • Food and drinks
  • Cosmetics and personal care products
  • Energies
  • Pharmaceuticals and health services
  • General chemicals and agrochemicals

Why Bogota-region (Cundinamarca)

The Bogota-region has the potential to bolster the strengthening of biotechnology:

With great availability of human talent, a big amount of universities, research establishments and technology centers, Bogota counts with:

  • 115 post-secondary education institutions and 35 universities, four of them are in the top 50 universities of Latin America.
  • 2.161 research groups that represent 41% of the total amount of the country. During the last decade, research groups have recorded a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24%.
  • During the last decade, more than 291.000 technicians, technologists, professionals, and postgraduate students graduated in Bogotá, in subjects related to the biotech industry.
  • 518 PhDs in sectors related to biotechnology that stand for 41% of the country.
  • 39% of the technicians and technologists of the national territory.


Bogota: The biotech cluster of Colombia

  • 40% of the biotechnology research groups in Colombia equal to 34 units, 60% are focused on red and green biotech.
  • In the last ten years, Colombia recorded the sixth place in patenting in Latin America with 5.429 granted patents in biotechnologyBogota obtained about 57% from those patents. With a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5,7%, the country surpasses the average in Latin America (3,6%). 
  • In the past decade, the pharmaceutical chemistry and mechanical engineering sectors represented 33% and 31% of the patents granted in the country. The biotechnology segment reported 290 patents, 5% of the total.


Colombia offers incentives for innovation:

Income tax deductions:
  • Up to 175% of the amount invested in science, technology and innovation projects. (The maximally allowed deductible sum is 40% of the net income)
  • Up to 100% of the amount invested in the control and improvement of the environment. (The maximally allowed deductible sum is 20% of the net income)
  • Up to 120% of the wages of employees with disabilities.
Income Tax Exemption:

Income tax exemption for non-taxable incomes and capital gains tax.

Legal entity: Resources received by a taxpayer that is appointed to the execution of projects classified among the categories of science, technology, and innovation, according to the” CNBT” (For its acronym in Spanish: National Council of Tax Benefits) criteria and conditions.*
*Quote: Colciencias

  • VAT exemption: This benefit exempts the importer of elements and equipment appointed to science, technology and innovation projects.  For that purpose, only acknowledged research centers and educational institutions should apply at any time of the taxable year.
    *Quote: Colciencias

Financial mechanisms: It’s possible to access financial mechanisms from different entities, whose requirements vary according to their politics. (For more details about the mechanisms Invest In Bogota recommends to visit the web page of each entity)

  • Colciencias: Offers two ways of financing according to the characteristics, objectives, and results of the project: Contingent-recovery resources and co-financing.
  • Innpulsa: Through open calls, this institution channels refundable and non-refundable resources for innovation projects.

  • DNP (For its acronym in Spanish: National Planning Department): Through the science, technology and innovation fund it´s possible to access to resources out of the General Royalties System, for projects of those kinds, prior compliance with the requirements of association with local authorities and regional impact.


If you need more detailed information, find in the lower part the information of our investment officers in charge of this sector.

Updated (mm/dd/yyyy): 21.01.2020

Contact an advisor

Contact Invest in Bogotá to receive all the information and advice you need to invest in Bogota and Colombia.

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Carlos Sánchez Badillo

Senior Investment Officer

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Juan Felipe Gómez

Investment Officer

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