Biotechnology, policy: Stakeholders attend round-table discussion of biotech competitiveness
The Austrian and Finnish presidencies of the EU co-hosted a round table on boosting the competitiveness of EU biotechnology in the context of the Commission’s 2002-2010 life science and biotechnology strategy, which is currently up for mid-term review.
The discussion took place in Helsinki (FI) on 20 June 2006 and brought together biotech competitiveness authorities from EU Member States, the European Commission and industry representatives.
“The round table called for wider coordination in different policy fields in Member States and in the European Commission in order to ensure that individual measures together form a coherent policy,” read a joint statement. “The policy should be compatible with the vision for the development of competitive biotechnology in the EU with a rich variety of applications to benefit society and the economy.”
The debate is destined to feed in to the mid-term review of the Commission’s ‘Life sciences and biotechnology – a strategy for Europe’ which runs from 2002 to 2010. As part of this process, stakeholders, from interested members of the general public to scientists and industry, have until 30 September 2006 to submit their assessment of progress towards the implementation of this 52-page road map.
Next year, the EU will launch its ambitious Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), which has a budget of more than €50 billion for the 2007 to 2013 period. This makes a realignment of Europe’s life science and biotech goals doubly timely.
The value of biotech
In a related development, the European Parliament has asked the European Commission to evaluate the socio-economic and environmental consequences, opportunities and challenges for Europe of modern biotechnology.
In response, the Commission committed itself to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of biotechnology and genetic engineering, including genetically modified organisms, in light of major European policy goals formulated in the Lisbon Strategy, the United Nation’s Agenda 21 and sustainable development. The Commission’s Joint Research Centre is currently carrying out this study.
Source: EU sources
Round table press release
Consultation feedback form
‘Life sciences and biotechnology – a strategy for Europe’ [ - 2.64 Mb]
The JRC’s ‘Biotechnology for Europe’ project
Information on the Seventh Framework Programme for Research
More information on Agenda 21