Since 1990, the EC-US Task Force on Biotechnology Research has been coordinating transatlantic efforts to promote research on biotechnology and its applications for the benefit of society. The Task Force was established in June 1990 by the European Commission and the White House Office of Science and Technology. This mandate is renewed every five years.
The Task Force has acted as an effective forum for discussion, for coordination and for developing new ideas. Task Force serves as an important think-tank. It focuses on the future of biotechnology and challenges the scientific communities on both sides of the Atlantic to expand their thinking beyond specific scientific disciplines. The dialogue has been further broadened by including social scientists in all activities.
Task Force members are European Commission and US Government science and technology administrators who meet annually to enhance communication across the Atlantic, and to encourage collaborative research. Through sponsoring workshops, and other activities, the Task Force also brings together scientific leaders and early career researchers from Europe and the United States to forecast research challenges and opportunities and to promote better links between researchers. Over the years, by keeping a focus on the future of science, the Task Force has played a key role in establishing a diverse range of emerging scientific fields, including bioinformatics ( 1992), neuroinformatics(1993) nanobiotechnology(a new term coined by the Task Force in 1997), neonatal immunology, transkingdom molecular biology(2003), obesity ( 2006), synthetic biology(2006), systems biology (2007) marine genomics (2007) and applications of biotechnology to sustainable energy(2008).
In 2009, the Task Force organised a total of seven initiatives amongst which workshops, seminars and courses covering a wide range of subjects such as virtual tissues, obesity, animal bio-informatics, synthetic biology, plant bio-informatics and women leadership in biotechnology research.
For the celebration of its 20th anniversary, in 2010, the Task Force put together a major conference, in Barcelona, in June, followed by a two day meeting in the same Spanish city.
To close 2010, a workshop on Marine Genomics will take place from 10 to 12 October in Washington D.C, in the United States.
20th Anniversary of the EC-US Task Force on Biotechnology Research, Barcelona, Spain, 2nd June 2010
20th Meeting of the EC-US Task Force on Biotechnology Research, Barcelona, Spain,
June 03-04, 2010
Read the recent interviews by US and EC Task Force representatives to "International Innovation: Healthcare" magazine (October 2010 issue 2041-4551)
Judith St John, U.S. Co-Chair of the US-EC Task Force on Biotechnology Research ( 3.33 MB)
Line Matthiessen, Head of Unit E1 Directorate for “Biotechnologies, Agriculture and Food” Research, European Commission - Research DG ( 3.56 MB)
Now available – report on the workshop 'A Global Look at Women’s Leadership in Biotechnology Research'
( 391 KB)