Research, Innovation and Science

The Knowledge-Based Bio-Economy Towards 2020

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn
Worth nearly two Trillion Euro, the European Bio-Economy provides around 22 million jobs in Europe, across sectors as diverse as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food, chemicals, and biofuels. This is the impressive reality of the European Bio-economy.


Brussels, 14 September 2010

Vice-Minister Lieten,

Honourable Members of the European Parliament,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very pleased to open the plenary session of this conference on The Knowledge-Based Bio-Economy Towards 2020, with such a distinguished assembly of scientists, policy makers and representatives from industry and civil society organisations from Europe and further afield.

I would particularly like to thank Vice Minister Lieten and the Belgian Presidency of the EU for organising this conference in cooperation with the European Commission. And let me also thank the Members of the European Parliament who are here today for your continuing interest in and support for our vision of the European Bio-Economy.

What do we mean by the European “Bio-Economy”? Well, technically speaking, the Bio-Economy is “that part of the economy that generates growth and jobs from the development, processing and use of biological resources in an environmentally sustainable manner".

But here’s an alternative definition, which I think says so much more: