EU Biotechnology Policies
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 growing 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.
Our mission is to assess the competitiveness situation for the European biotechnology industry and to formulate - in cooperation with other Commission services - policy proposals to improve the current framework conditions. The tasks and responsibilities are laid down in the Commission's official Life Science and Biotechnology Strategy and Action Plan [166 KB] and its 2007 review [52 KB] .
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:
- Managing and coordinating the Lead Market Initiative for Bio-based Products, including the inter-service Task Force and the Ad-hoc Advisory Group for Bio-based Products with external experts.
- Coordinating the various Commission actions to improve access to finance for biotechnology SMEs.
- Implementing an action to support a strengthening of European biotech clusters, a better integration between the clusters across national borders, and a closer collaboration between regional biotech networks.
- Managing the contact network with Member States on biotechnology competitiveness (COMP-BIO-NET) and the contact network with industry and academia on biotechnology competitiveness (CBAG).
This work is done in collaboration with other relevant Commission Directorate-Generals (DGs). For more information, please consult our dedicated web page "EU Commission Policies".