EuropaBio Annual Report 2008-2009
Letter from EuropaBio's Secretary General, Willy De Greef
EuropaBio is looking back on another year of eventful developments in the biotechnology sector.
Almost four decades after the initial scientific breakthroughs that created the rDNA world, our industries continue to feel new, spectacularly innovative and exciting. As the benefits of our members' products and services continue to impact healthcare, industry and agriculture, the policy environment continues to evolve.
In the face of such rapid change, tensions between technology and policy are not surprising, they are to be expected and addressed. It is essential for successfully navigating these tensions that policy makers and the whole of society recognise biotechnology as a major (in fact vital) provider of solutions.
Whether it is by producing healthcare solutions for previously intractable diseases, by opening an entirely new world of bio-based chemistry or by creating the crops bio-based chemistry or by creating the crops for the future that will play a central role in climate change prevention, mitigation and adaptation, our members are addressing the major societal challenges of today. The 21st century has long been described as the century of the life sciences. Less than a decade into it, we already have made our mark. But the most exciting news is what's in the pipeline: the technological components for entirely new and sustainable solutions to our healthcare, industrial and agricultural concerns.
EuropaBio was created to serve as the interlocutor for the developers of all these technologies with European policy makers and influencers. That has two essential components: the nuts and bolts of legislative and regulatory development and the need to remain focussed on the big picture.
Because the products of our technologies affect the economy and society in such diverse ways, the range of policy and regulatory activities of EuropaBio is wider than that of any other industry association working with the European institutions. That provides us with unparalleled opportunities to learn from success, and to have a holistic view. It makes us a privileged partner for the policy makers when it comes to driving change.
This year we present our Annual Report in a multimedia format, taking advantage of interactive technologies to allow you, our audience, a better opportunity to see who we are and get a clear idea of what we do. We are open to a dialogue on all areas of biotechnology and hope to provide you with the highest quality information in the most straightforward manner.
This report comes at the end of my first year as secretary general of EuropaBio. The experience has lived up to all my expectations. The immense ability of our members to provide solutions for such a wide range of society's priority needs is a fantastic driver for our team to work on developing an enabling policy environment for them.
Willy De Greef
Secretary General, EuropaBio