Europe 2020 and Biotechnology: Creating a competitive, Connected and Greener Economy

24.06.2010

Europe 2020 and Biotechnology: Creating a competitive, Connected and Greener Economy

The EU Strategy for 2020 envisages an EU economy based on smart, sustainable growth – a powerful, ultra-efficient engine driving high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion. Achieving these ambitious goals requires not just addressing today’s most pressing challenges – healthcare affordability, our ageing demographics, economic instability, climate change, energy security and the global food supply – but also building a lasting framework that will allow Europe to prosper over the long term and deal with new crises as they arise.

Biotechnology already plays, and must continue to play an invaluable role in this agenda over the next decade and beyond. No other industrial sector sits so comfortably at the intersection of enhancement of quality of life, knowledge, innovation, productivity and environmental protection. From new drugs that can address unmet medical needs and fight epidemics and rare diseases, to industrial processes that use renewable feedstocks instead of crude oil, to drought-resistant crops that allow farmers in Africa to feed more people under ever-harsher climatic conditions, biotechnology can and will pay economic, social and environmental dividends.

These bold technologies – and the ones still on the drawing board or in the pipeline – promise a brighter future for Europe and the world, but they don’t simply happen by themselves. They require sound policy that supports innovation and entrepreneurial risk-taking, and regulatory structures that reward long-term investment in research and development over short-term gain and quick consumption. They also require understanding from a public that is well-informed about how biotechnology is helping to create a healthier, greener, more productive, and more sustainable economy.

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