Press release

Biotech Industry State of the Union Evaluation

EU should put innovation friendly policies back at the heart of their agenda, to benefit from the biotech potential to boost jobs and growth

11 September 2017, Brussels: In advance of President Juncker’s State of the Union Speech due this week, EuropaBio issued its evaluation of the EU’s progress on creating an innovation friendly environment, attracting investment and fostering jobs, growth and competitiveness. EuropaBio’s Secretary General, John Brennan, noted “critical geopolitical issues, requiring the attention of Europe’s policy makers, have understandably dominated policy discussion and actions. Yet the policy imperative of delivering economic progress is still there, and a strong EU economy is a prerequisite if we are to meet these global challenges. We therefore urge EU policymakers to put ambitious innovation policies and jobs and growth back at the heart of their agenda.”

EuropaBio’s evaluation is forward looking, pointing to achievable, and in many instances non-legislative, ways to reach positive results under this Commission’s remaining mandate. At a minimum, these should include:

  • backing at the highest level for an update of Europe’s Bioeconomy Strategy, planned for review in 2017 to create new bio-based markets and ensure cross-policy coherence;
  • a holistic and balanced approach for biotech innovation under the current incentives review, preserving or even enhancing the incentives that spurred the unique advancements in medicine that innovation in biotechnology has delivered to patients ;
  • an efficient implementation of the existing GMO authorisation system avoiding undue delays in the risk assessment and the ‘comitology’ process.

Other key barriers to achieving this sector’s full potential are presented in the report, with clear recommendations of how to overcome them. “Bioindustries contribute so much to the EU economy, creating useful products, jobs and growth. If we could couple that with an ambitious EU policy agenda, we can contribute even more to tackling our grand societal challenges in these next two years,”, said Mr. Brennan.