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Biotechnology

Biotechnology Related Policies

The world in a test-tube © Tryfonov - Fotolia.com

The European Commission's challenging task is to identify and propose remedies to the obstacles that the biotechnology industry may still face in various fields. As biotechnology is used in variety of economic sectors, it is necessary to analyse the market conditions in several different fields, most notably biopharmaceuticals, chemicals and industrial processes, bio-based products, and agro-food applications.

Biotechnology is of outstanding importance to pharmaceutical research. An increasing number of innovative medicines have their origin in biotechnological research, such as the use of living organisms or their derivatives for therapeutic purposes, rather than chemical substances as in traditional medicines. As these products are extremely complicated and expensive to develop and test, Europe needs to create an environment that rewards innovation and removes unnecessary regulatory, administrative, or economic obstacles.

The main competitiveness factors include access to finance, cluster formation and networking, intellectual property rights as a tool to commercialise scientific results, and demand-side factors such as standards, labels, public procurement, and market access. The Commission's monitoring activities also aim at improving policy coherence in an area where business activities are influenced by a multitude of legal acts as well as public policies both at the national and European level. One of the key objectives is to contribute to the implementation of the Commission's programme to ease the regulatory burden and achieve a simplification of rules.

The contribution of Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry to these policies includes :

  • Integrated industrial policy: in this era of intensifying globalisation, the concept of national sectors and industries is obsolete. Coordinated European policy responses are needed. Europe also needs an approach that looks at the whole value chain, from infrastructure and raw materials to after-sales service. Moreover, the transition to a sustainable economy has to be seized as an opportunity to strengthen competitiveness.

  • Bio-based Products: managing and coordinating the Commission Expert Group for Bio-based Products.

  • Access to finance / SME: coordinating the various Commission actions to improve access to finance also for biotechnology SMEs.

  • Key Enabling Technologies: a significant part of future goods and services are as yet unknown, but the main driving force behind their development will be Key Enabling Technologies (KETs), such as nanotechnology, micro- and nanoelectronics including semiconductors, advanced materials, biotechnology and photonics. These technologies enable the development of new goods and services and the restructuring of industrial processes needed to modernise EU industry and make the transition to a knowledge-based and low carbon resource-efficient economy.

  • Clusters: implementing actions to support and strengthen of European biotech clusters, a better integration between the clusters across national borders, and a closer collaboration between regional biotech networks.

 

This work is done in collaboration with other relevant Commission Directorate-Generals (DGs). For more information, please consult: "EU Life Sciences and Biotechnology related Policies".

 

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