Today, EuropaBio hosted the official launch event of the EuropaBio's EFIB Vilnius Statement of 2022, with a round table dedicated to discussion around the role and potential of enabling technologies in the EU green transition. Policy makers, Member States and other stakeholders joined EuropaBio members to drive the discussion.
The launch reflects the official Statement generated from EuropaBio’s 15th European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology & the Bioeconomy (EFIB) ‘’Next generation economies: industrial biotechnology for a sustainable society’ in Vilnius, Lithuania. 350 delegates from 18 countries worldwide and across multiple sectors gathered to address the economic future for industrial biotechnology, resulting in the Vilnius Statement formally launched in Brussels today.
‘’Today, we are honoured to present the EFIB Vilnius statement to European policymakers, coming at a critical time of current global challenges such as Covid recovery, food supply chain and energy security. Delivering on EU Green Deal objectives whilst strengthening resilience and independence of European industries is essential and industrial biotechnology and biomanufacturing are part of the solution’’, said Dr Claire Skentelbery, Director General of EuropaBio.
The EFIB Vilnius statement set the stage with three industry asks for 2023 and beyond:
- Modernalizing regulation and policy: enabling impact
For a cohesive approach across sectors, advanced knowledge on microorganisms should be recognised and considered when developing the policy action for plants developed using NGTs.
- Education and awareness: enabling citizens
For maximum economic return from advanced technologies, supporting skills should be a priority throughout Europe, integral to all industrial and innovation development.
- Financing innovation: enabling technologies
The power of industrial biotechnology as an enabling technology should be recognised within financial frameworks to allow a substantial contribution in key economic sectors.
The official Vilnius statement presentation was followed by a handover of the document to the European Commission which was presented by Simonas Šatūnas, Head of Cabinet of the Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment. S. Šatūnas in his follow up remark highlighted the importance to emphasise economic side of the circular economy narrative rather than focusing solely on biodiversity or reduction of the pollution.
The roundtable continued with interventions from IFF, Novozymes, BioPharmaChem Ireland, European Commission representatives and attaches from various national Permanent Representations to the European Union. Discussions revealed a common goal to make Europe a leader in biomanufacturing, reinforce skills and talent development and favourable regulatory environment.
At the end of the meeting, Claire Skentelbery invited participants to continue a discussion on this topic and evaluate the implementation of the Vilnius statement next year, during the next edition of EFIB which will take place in October 24-25, 2023 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.