How can Biotechnology benefit you?

According to the OECD definition, biotechnology is: “The application of science and technology to living organisms, as well as parts, products and models thereof, to alter living or non-living materials for the production of knowledge, goods and services.”  Simply put, it is a technology that is based on biology, which uses living organisms to make innovative products that improve our lives. Our industry works in healthcare, agriculture and industry to meet life’s greatest needs in a carefully regulated way.

Biotechnology has been used for more than 6,000 years for lots of interesting and practical purposes: making food such as bread and cheese, preserving dairy products and fermenting beer.  Although we do not always realise it, biotechnology is a huge part of our everyday lives, from the clothes we wear and how we wash them, the food we eat and the sources it comes from, the medicine we use to keep us healthy and even the fuel we use to take us where we need to go, biotech already plays, and must continue to play, an invaluable role in meeting our needs.  No other industry is better placed to enhance quality of life and respond to society’s ‘Grand Challenges’ of tackling an ageing and ever increasing population, healthcare choice and affordability, resource efficiency, food security, climate change and energy shortages.

From new drugs that address our medical needs and fight epidemics and rare diseases, to industrial processes that use renewable feedstock instead of crude oil to lower the impact on the environment and crops that are able to grow in harsh climatic conditions and ensure safe and affordable food, biotech can and will pay economic, social and environmental dividends.

All of these bold technologies, and those that are still in the pipeline, promise a brighter future for Europe and the world.  But for this to happen, the industry requires sounds policy decisions that support innovation and risk–taking as well as a public that is well informed about how biotech is creating a healthier, greener, more productive and more sustainable economy.