EuropaBio calls on President Juncker and his team to harness innovation for growth and jobs in Europe

03.11.2014

Brussels, 03 November 2014

After active weeks of preparation and trepidation, Jean-Claude Juncker’s team of Commissioners is now in post. Portfolios have been distributed, the new European Commission approved and political vision and missions outlined. It is now time to set the agenda. EuropaBio, the European Association of BioIndustries, calls on the new College of Commissioners to work towards a Europe that harnesses innovation to meet the growth and jobs agenda that it has set for the next 5 years. 

Tackling major challenges in Europe, the biotechnology sector is focused on finding solutions to some of our major challenges such as climate change, energy and food security, environmental sustainability, health challenges and ageing populations. Thanks to biotech, we are able to reduce our CO2 emissions by 33 million tons a year through among other things, greener transport, bio-based products and production systems as well as more effective detergents that can also reduce electricity consumption by 30%. Half of the medicines produced and in the pipeline are biotech-based and are becoming more and more targeted to treat the right patients and the right time with the right treatment. In most other parts of the world, agriculture is seeing improvements in yields and soil sustainability thanks to biotech applications.

The Commission itself estimated that the bio-economy sector enables 22 million jobs in the EU along with revenues of nearly 2 trillion euros. Within that, the biotech sectors presented an 8% growth in 2012[i]. However, the operating environment for the biotech industry in the EU is becoming less and less attractive compared to other geographic areas and some industries are moving out: unpredictable regulatory frameworks, politically-based decisions or lack of funding and incentives reduce Europe’s competitiveness and attractiveness for growth.

The figures show that the biotech industry plays a major role in the growth and jobs agenda of the new Commission. However, there are bottlenecks to be addressed urgently from the R&D to the market access phases to keep this crucial industry in Europe. If we want innovation to stay in the region and contribute to growth, jobs and solutions here, a change of gear is needed.

To find out more about the areas we believe must be addressed over the next five years by the incoming Commission and Parliament and by Member States, please refer to our Biotechnology Industry Manifesto 2014-2019 available here. Translated versions will be available soon here.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Nathalie Moll

Secretary General, EuropaBio

Ph: +32 (0) 2 739 11 71

E: n.moll@europabio.org

About EuropaBio

EuropaBio is the European Association for Bioindustries, bringing together bioscience companies from all fields of research and development, testing, manufacturing and distribution of biotechnology products. Its corporate, associate and national association members are involved in research, development, testing, manufacturing and commercialisation of biotechnology products and processes, and have a wide range of activities: human and animal health care, diagnostics, bio-informatics, chemicals, crop protection, agriculture, food and environmental products and services.

 


[i] OECD, Key Biotechnology Indicators, June 2013 http://www.oecd.org/innovation/inno/keybiotechnologyindicators.htm

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