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Page last update: 25/12/2008

Biotechnology, Projects: Commission creates something new for the biofood sector

In its bid to bolster the biotechnology sector and improve the quality of European food, the Commission has launched three new agrofood research projects and a training programme to help scientists gain some entrepreneurial know-how.

The European Commission has pumped €43 million into three new agrofood research projects. “Meeting consumers' expectations for good and safe food, while at the same time ensuring sustainable agriculture and fostering a competitive industry, requires ambitious R&D efforts and strong co-operation at European level,” Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin said during the launch of the new projects earlier this month.
He added that these projects are the first under the 15-month-old Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) to take the EU’s comprehensive ‘farm-to-fork’ approach which “opens new perspectives for producing food that respond to environmental, health and competitiveness objectives”.
The Safe Foods project aims to improve consumer protection by formulating an integrated food safety risk analysis approach. The NuGO network seeks to integrate and develop nutritional genomics in Europe. Welfare Quality strives to integrate animal welfare into the food production chain .

Learning the trade
In addition to providing its citizens with the tastiest and safest food possible, Europe aims to become the world’s most competitive knowledge-based economy by 2010. “Growth and job creation in key sectors such as life sciences and biotechnology are mainly driven by new companies,” Mr Busquin has observed.
This involves promoting entrepreneurship among European scientists and researchers. Towards that end, the Commission has just launched a fourth series of its successful Biobiz workshops. “One of the barriers for researchers who would like to create their own company is the lack of knowledge and training in management and finance… Biobiz helps fill this gap and meet the entrepreneurial challenge in the biotechnology sector,” the Research Commissioner explained.
Biobiz will hold some 30 workshops in Europe and the USA over the next three years. Since its inception in 1998, around 350 prospective entrepreneurs have already attended such events. The initiative has helped to create 40 new biotech companies .

Source: EU sources
More Information:
Commission press release
Biobiz workshops
Information on life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health under FP6

Last update: 25 December 2008 | Top