Science at the service of Europe

Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Biotechnology

Research links food, health and natural resources

Europe’s ‘Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology’ programme addresses complex global challenges in seeking a sustainable balance between economy and ecology.

EU funding in 2008
€214.08 million

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Vegetables on a market

"The agro-food industries, in which 90% of businesses are SMEs, and those in the non-food biotechnology sector will both benefit from Europe’s multi-facetted research activities."

The industries that produce, manage or otherwise utilise biological resources, including waste, form a sector known as the Knowledge-Based Bio-Economy (KBBE). In Europe alone this represents a market worth over €1.5 trillion and employs more than 22 million people. A cohesive research agenda is therefore crucial to boost the competitiveness of the EU agro-food and biotechnology industries, and to solve today’s most urgent problems – e.g. food safety and security, increasing energy costs, and the impact of climate change on agro-food production.

Contributing to sustainable development in a new holistic approach, the FP7 ‘Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology’ programme is pursuing further development of the KBBE – which is also a means to strengthen the European Research Area. The overall coordination of research activities at national and international levels has paved the way to a ‘true scientific partnership policy’ between private and public sectors, also as described in the 2008 Commission Communication ‘Towards a coherent strategy for a European Agricultural Research Agenda’.