Knowledge Based Bio-Economy

Biotechnology

A major component of the “Industrial Leadership” pillar of Horizon 2020 are Key Enabling Technologies (KETs). These multi-disciplinary, knowledge and capital-intensive technologies cut across many diverse sectors providing the basis for significant competitive advantage for European industry, stimulating growth and the creation of new jobs.

A major component of the “Industrial Leadership” pillar of Horizon 2020 are Key Enabling Technologies (KETs). They are defined as micro and nanoelectronics, photonics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, advanced materials and advanced manufacturing systems.

These multi-disciplinary, knowledge and capital-intensive technologies cut across many diverse sectors providing the basis for significant competitive advantage for European industry, stimulating growth and the creation of new jobs. The specific objective of biotechnology research and innovation under “Industrial Leadership” is to develop competitive, sustainable, safe and innovative industrial products and processes and to contribute as an innovation driver in a number of European sectors, like agriculture, forestry, food, energy, chemical and health as well as the Bioeconomy.

A strong scientific, technological and innovation base in biotechnology will support European industries securing leadership in this key enabling technology.

This position will be further strengthened by integrating the safety assessment and management aspects of the overall risks in the deployment of biotechnology. Examples of the rising importance of biotechnology are in industrial applications including biopharmaceuticals, food and feed production and bio-chemicals, of which the market share of the latter is estimated to increase by up to 12 %-20 % of chemical production by 2015. In Europe's biopharmaceutical sector, already some 20 % of the current medicines are derived from biotechnology, with up to 50 % of new medicines. A number of the so-called twelve rules of Green Chemistry are also addressed by biotechnology, due to the selectivity and efficiency of bio-systems. Against this background, harnessing the potential of biotechnology processes and bio-based products could lead to a reduction of CO2 emissions which is estimated to range from between 1 to 2.5 billion tons CO2 equivalent per year by 2030.

Key sources of innovation are at the interface between biotechnology and other enabling and converging technologies, in particular nanotechnologies and ICT, with applications such as sensing and diagnosing.

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