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Biotechnology is present in many aspects of everyday life, from modern medicine to agriculture. The third wave of biotechnology development is changing the industrial sector by providing new ways of making products which are better for the environment.

The so-called industrial or white biotechnology uses micro-organisms and enzymes, for example, to convert organic material (from agriculture or household wastes) into fuels for cars or enzyme-based detergents for washing at lower temperatures. New methods of production and new products are being developed in many industrial sectors, such as chemistry, food and feed, paper and pulp, textiles and energy. These applications can impact the economic and social parameters of the European economy, making sustainable development a reality in the years to come. The WHITE BIOTECH TP is setting up a technology platform that can support and further the use of biotechnology in a number of industrial settings, bringing down costs and benefiting both the environment and society at large.


What is impeding the full exploitation of biotechnology in the industrial field is partly the need for further research to develop the new technologies required by this sector, but also a number of shortcomings in the areas of policy, investment and regulatory frameworks across Europe. WHITE BIOTECH TP (Technology Platform) provides, for the first time, a common ground for relevant stakeholders, Member States and the European Commission. The overall objective is to translate European scientific excellence in industrial biotechnology to socio-economic growth and sustainable development.

The technology platform tool is ideally structured to increase the awareness of white biotechnology among stakeholders and the public, and create viable links between the industrial and scientific communities. Through a series of key alliances and networking activities, innovation and knowledge generation is stimulated; this can lead to specific market advantages and increased competitiveness.


Is white biotechnology the key to a brighter new future for the European industry? Biotechnology applications can, indeed, find a variety of outlets and it can impact manufacturing and other industrial processes to a great degree. White biotechnology essentially supports the use of biological matter, such as enzymes and micro-organisms, for the manufacture of a variety of products in numerous sectors, such as the textile industry, the chemical industry and the energy sector. A bio-approach to energy matters can result in new uses of raw materials, renewable energy sources, limited waste material and overall diminished impact to the environment.

The platform brings industry, academia and policymakers together to develop a common vision of the contribution that industrial biotechnology can make to our society. To achieve this vision, all aspects are explored - from support and research to policies - thereby stimulating research and innovation, entrepreneurship and market development. Such a supporting framework helps the development and implementation of technologies for a more rational use of resources, and reduces our footprint on the environment, while maintaining European quality of life and competitiveness


List of Partners

  • Europabio (Belgium)
  • ESAB-EFB (The Netherlands)
Full title:
An European technology platform on industrial biotechnology for sustainable development
Contract n:
Project co-ordinator:
Dirk Carrez,
Europabio - The European Association of Bio-industries
EC Scientific Officer:
Maurice Lex,
EU contribution:
€ 500,200
Specific Support Action

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Last update: 06 December 2007 | Top