En route to the Knowledge Based Bio-Economy

05.08.2011

German Presidency of the Council of the European Union

By 2030, the products of white biotechnology and bio-energy will have an estimated one-third share, worth €300bn, of industrial production. Biotechnology is expected to help meet the most urgent global challenges by facilitating the development of a sustainable economy built on bio-based industrial processes.

Combined with advanced bioprocess engineering the development of high performance crop plants is the key to this vision becoming reality. In this sense, biotechnology will have matured from a discovery science into an engineering science and we will see, for instance, the construction of synthetic cells, capable of selectively producing define products.

Indeed, several hurdles need to be overcome: there is a growing need for interdisciplinary education and joint research; competitive tax incentives will be needed to attract private capital; a single European Community Patent will help to reduce the cost of intellectual property protection; the co-ordination of European and national programmes related to KBBE should be improved. In sum, science needs the support of society!