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
"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’.