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
Commission press release
Information on life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health under FP6