Benchmarking of public biotechnology policy

01.04.2005

DG Enterprise and Industry Study

Biotechnology has a high priority on the political agenda of the Member States of the European Union. However, designing policy to foster innovation in biotechnology is not an easy task, because biotechnology is a complex field with complex potential outcomes and impacts. The policy-making process faces a number of challenges: In order to assess the effectiveness of various policies it is necessary to describe and assess the specificities and functions of the national biotechnology innovation systems and relate them to specific policy areas and policy goals. Assessing national strengths and weaknesses relies on the availability of suitable indicators. Finally, policy instruments need to be adapted to the stage of the industry life cycle in each country and to the global evolution of the industry. With respect to all these issues, at present only partial information is available. Therefore, so far no systematic approach for benchmarking public biotechnology policy has been made. In line with the Communication of the European Commission “Life sciences and biotechnology – A strategy for Europe” (action 12), this project tries to fill this gap and provides firstly a conceptual and methodological basis for benchmarking public biotechnology policy, and secondly performs the first implementation round of the benchmarking in European Member States.