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Life sciences and biotechnology are enabling technologies that are used in a variety of industry sectors such as healthcare/pharmaceuticals, animal health, textiles, chemicals, plastic, paper, fuel, food and feed processing.

Biotechnology makes a significant contribution to core European Union policy goals including public health, ageing society, economic growth, job creation, sustainable development, and environmental protection.

To ensure that policies are implemented consistently in Europe, a broad and detailed strategy and action plan for the development of biotechnology-based products 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, inter alia better access to finance and a more efficient technology transfer.

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