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With applications in a broad variety of sectors, life sciences and biotechnology are main innovation drivers in the European Union. They lead to new growth and competitiveness in traditional sectors, such as paper and pulp and chemical industries (including the pharmaceutical industry), textile companies and many others.

In Horizon 2020, biotechnology was introduced as a Key Enabling Technology (KET), together with three other KETs : nanotechnologies, advanced materials, and advanced manufacturing and processing.

Research in biotechnology is supported under Horizon 2020 to exploit the current and future know-how and to boost technological innovation and industrial leadership in those sectors.

We want European Industries to maintain their global leadership position for the benefit of European citizens. In pursuit of these goals we focus on mission-oriented research towards life sciences, biotechnology and biochemistry for sustainable non-food products and processes.


28 April 2017

Video : Is yeast the new wonder product ?

© Dr John Morrissey, UCC
photo by John Sheehan

Europe has committed to moving towards a sustainable, low-carbon economy. Developing a viable bio-based industry will help Europe to move towards a sustainable, low-carbon economy. There is great potential to use yeast as a microbial cell factory to produce molecules to replace those coming from the oil industry. This short video explains how the EU funded CHASSY project, led by Dr Morrissey, of UCC will take up this challenge. The full interview of Dr Morrissey can be read here:

27 April 2017

Success story : Engineering bacteria to churn out chemicals

© -

Scientists are delving into the core machinery of cellular life, in search of the mechanisms driving bacterial evolution and adaptation. Their findings promise biosynthetic factories able to convert biomass into fuels and valuable chemicals.
Read the full story of the EMPOWERPUTIDA EU project on R&I website.

28 March 2017

New publication

Maximising the impact of KET biotechnology – report from EC workshop of November 2016

27 March 2017

New publication

Biotechnology – an enabling technology for industry
Discover the biotechnology challenges in Horizon 2020, in this flyer :

Download from EU-Bookshop

26 April 2016

From plastic waste to plastic value using synthetic biology.

In September 2015, the European Commission organised a workshop to examine the ways to increase the impact of the biotechnology KET, by creating an Industrial Biotechnology community and explore the potential of clustering.

Ongoing Projects:

Since 2014 a number of very interesting new research and innovation projects have been launched under Horizon 2020.

In the following articles, you will find an overview, with links to further specific information:

Expression of interest for Expert Evaluators

We are continuously looking for experts to evaluate proposals and monitor projects in the biotechnology programme. Are you an expert in biotechnology with experience in industry ?

Join the database of independent experts

If you are already registered, we recommend you update your CV regularly.



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For general information about our programme, if you have queries or you want to share your views please contact us at Research & Innovation enquiry service.