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Volume 2 Graphical element

[ Foreword ]
 
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The European Commission funded research in the area of life sciences has over the past decades contributed to a substantial change in the way research projects are carried out in the EU member states and associated states. Barriers to the establishment of collaborative links between countries in Europe have been reduced if not eliminated and the readiness of both academia and industry to work together has significantly improved.

A quick look at a typical project in the key action Cell Factory reveals the importance of the EC funded projects. With an average funding from the Commission of between 1 and 2 million Euro, those projects bring together 5 to 10 players from different countries and from both academia and industry. It is our firm opinion that such collaborations bring about added value for all participants and for Europe as a whole. Research results are more quickly brought to use, benefiting health, environment, agriculture or industrial produce and in the longer term employment, prosperity and quality of life in general.

Biotechnology is a key instrument for improvement in several areas of importance. With rapid progress in the life sciences area it is clear that a great deal of potential has still to be realised. We believe that the opportunities presented by biotechnology must not be left unexploited or being used only in other continents. At the same time any possible risks associated with the technology must be investigated and precautionary measures be put in place where needed. Equally important is to have a structured dialogue with society, aiming at examining the benefits of positive uses of the technology. Only further research into these areas can both address the concerns and expectations of society.

   
  Bruno Hansen
Director
Biotechnology, Agriculture and Food Research
Directorate General for Research
European Commission
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