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European Flag    Europa The European Commission Research Fifth Framework Programme
Improving the Quality of Life

The 'Cell Factory'

The cell is the basic unit of life. The blueprint for how these small but incredibly complex 'cell factories' work will find an enormous range of uses.

The more we understand about cell function, the more we will be able exploit cells in the fields of health, environment, agriculture, the agro-industries and the chemical industry.
The problem-solving approach of this key action addresses the relative weakness of Europe's small research-based biotechnology firms and entrepreneurial ventures. These knowledge-based new companies represent a reservoir of industrial competitiveness, scientific and technological innovation, opportunities for inventors, and jobs creation which is still underexploited in Europe. The challenge is to integrate the whole range of innovation - from advanced research, through technological development to industrial exploitation - providing an environment in which scientific results can rapidly be exploited and transformed into products and processes which benefit society.
Principal targets are improved therapeutic solutions for health care, improved environmental sustainability and improved quality in food, agro-industry and fine chemicals.

New biological processes and products
  • exploiting the cellular and molecular characteristics of organisms
  • deriving high value-added products and processes from micro-organisms, plants or animals
  • functional biomolecules and biocatalysts
  • identification and sustainable use of metabolic and genetic diversity as a source of new valuable products

genetically modified micro-organisms, plants and animals; recombinant organisms; biocatalysts

Bioremediation and waste treatment
  • new processes to prevent industrial pollution
  • bio-assays and biosensors
  • biodegradation of recalcitrant chemicals
  • biodiversity and ecological dynamics of natural and introduced populations
  • monitoring recombinant organisms in the environment and their impact on human and animal health

bio-processes; bio-accumulable wastes; bio-assays; biosensors; bio-degradation; microbial catalysts

Innovative healthcare processes and products
  • new diagnostics and therapeutic substances and strategies
  • new and improved technologies for producing biological products
  • novel in-vitro testing methods as alternatives to animal testing

gene function; gene delivery; diagnostics; anti-cancer agents; antibiotics; antibodies; cells as production units

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