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Biotechnology makes a significant contribution to the modernisation of Europe's industry sectors. Its broad range of high-tech applications is increasingly playing a role in enhancing our competitiveness, raising economic growth and improving the welfare of European citizens.

To ensure that policies affecting biotechnology are implemented consistently in Europe, a broad and detailed strategy and action plan were adopted in 2002 by the Commission. The mid-term review in 2007 revealed that the implementation had been successful during the first four years, and five new priorities were defined for the period 2007-2010.

The following documents have a relevance to issues related to the competitiveness of the European biotechnology industry.

"The financing of biopharmaceutical product development in Europe" - study conducted by DG Enterprise and Industry and Danish Technological Institute.

The European Commission has conducted a study to analyse the difficulties of Europe-based companies obtaining sufficient funding for their development of biopharmaceutical products, with a particular focus on SMEs.

The objective of the study was to analyse the challenges in detail and to formulate evidence-based policy recommendations. The report The financing of biopharmaceutical product development in Europe pdf - 3 MB [3 MB] published on 1 December 2009 provides new data obtained from a company survey on the causes of the funding shortage and proposes remedies that are adapted to the specific needs of early- and late-stage product development respectively.

By providing support to SMEs in Europe's bio­pharma­ceutical sector, policymakers can help to strengthen their ability to develop new innovative healthcare products, thus spurring economic growth and employment in the EU and contributing to public health objectives.

"TAKING BIO-BASED FROM PROMISE TO MARKET"- Measures to promote the market introduction of innovative bio-based products

The Commission appointed in 2008 the Ad-hoc Advisory Group for Bio-based Products to analyse the market conditions for various products made from renewable raw material. The current report from the Advisory Group is a result of the Commission's Lead Market Initiative. 

Bio-based products constitute one of the six selected Lead Markets launched in 2007 to promote the market uptake of new technologies. A long range of different end products can be produced from renewable (bio-based) raw material, including chemicals, plastics, fibres, composites, detergents, lubricants, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical active ingredients.

The Advisory Group is a cross-disciplinary expert group with public authorities, universities, and industry representatives, that has provided advice on measures to improve the market conditions for bio-based products. Its report was finalised on 3 November 2009.

The report Taking Bio-based from promise to market pdf - 5 MB [5 MB] focuses on measures relating to legislation, policies, standards, labels, certification and public procurement. The topics of communication, awareness and access to finance need to be elaborated further in a future report.

Commission Communication "Life sciences and biotechnology - A strategy for Europe" COM(2002) 27 final of 23/01/2002

The strategy for Europe on life sciences and biotechnology pdf български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) [166 KB] "proposes a comprehensive roadmap up to 2010, bringing the sector to the forefront of the frontier technologies which will help the EU achieve the long-term jobs and growth targets established by the Lisbon European Council (March 2000)" (source : Secretariat-general, Life sciences and Biotechnology).

The Commission has monitored the implementation of the strategy and published regular progress reports.

Bio4EU study: "Consequences, opportunities and challenges of modern biotechnology for Europe" (April 2007)

"Considering the potential of modern biotechnology to contribute to the achievement of major European Union (EU) policy goals such as economic growth and job creation, public health, environmental protection and sustainable development, the European Parliament has requested the European Commission to carry out an assessment of modern biotechnology.
The European Commission welcomed the initiative and announced in the Third Commission Biotechnology Progress Report pdf български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) [207 KB] (COM(2005)286 final) that it will "carry out a study into, and conduct a cost-benefit analysis of, biotechnology and genetic engineering, including genetically modified organisms, in the light of major European policy goals formulated in the Lisbon strategy, Agenda 21, and sustainable development".

The Bio4EU study pdf - 6 MB [6 MB] is the primary input to the reflection on the role of the Life Sciences and Biotechnology in the renewed Lisbon Agenda.
The Commission Services have assigned the study to its Joint Research Centre (JRC), where the Bio4EU study pdf - 6 MB [6 MB] was led by the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS)" (source : JRC - The Biotechnology for Europe study).

Commission Communication on the mid term review of the Strategy on Life Sciences and Biotechnology - COM(2007) 175 final of 10/04/2007

In 2007, the Commission carried out a mid-term review of the strategy pdf български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) [52 KB] , based on an in-depth assessment of the progress made since 2002, and the "Bio4EU" study. This study examined the economic, social and environmental consequences of biotechnology. It includes many concrete examples of biotechnology being used in health, food and the environment.

Analysis of the competitiveness of the European biotechnology industry (July 2007)

The " Competitiveness of the European biotechnology industry pdf - 235 KB [235 KB] " is a working document prepared as part of the input material for the 2007 mid-term review of the Commission's biotechnology Strategy and Action Plan.

Benchmarking of public biotechnology policy (April 2005)

Comparing national biotechnology policies is useful to identify the practices that are most suitable to create a favorable environment for SMEs. The study Benchmarking of public biotechnology policy pdf - 783 KB [783 KB] [783 KB] aims at providing European policy-makers with more information on the national policies for biotechnology in the Member States by comparing their policy measures and their national performance in biotechnology.

BioPolis study - national public biotech policies (March 2007)

The goal of the project BioPolis was "to gather all available data on public biotechnology R&D funding and policy performance in 32 European countries. From these data was drawn a realistic picture for each country, corresponding to the period 2002-2005. The three contracting teams covered the 27 EU Member States and the accession candidates Croatia and Turkey, as well as Norway, Iceland, and Switzerland. The contractors analysed the data in view of assessing the national biotechnology policies and compared, based on earlier studies, the biotechnology policy performances of 15 Member States over the period 1994-2005. They also formulated general recommendations" (source: Directorate-General for Research - Biosociety).

User Guide to European Regulation in Biotechnology

An easy-access tour of the European Union's biotechnology regulation. The User Guide to European Regulation in Biotechnology pdf - 1015 KB [1015 KB] aims to help companies identify routes to regulatory compliance for their products and processes. It helps all EU citizens further their understanding of the way regulation balances the benefits, risks and ethical issues arising from biotechnology.

2005 Eurobarometer survey

The 2005 Eurobarometer survey shows a growing public support regarding biotechnology and life sciences with the exception of food linked with genetically modified organisms.

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