Joint response of EuropaBio and BIO on the EU Data Strategy Consultation

Read the joint response on the European Strategy for Data.

The European Association for Bioindustries (EuropaBio) and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) welcome the opportunity to provide comments on the European Strategy for Data. Our Organisations commend the European Commission for their efforts to establish a policy framework for data with a focus on accelerating research, innovation and economic growth, particularly in the life sciences. To realize the potential of promising biotech innovations, life sciences researchers around the world require a robust and reliable global ecosystem for data; an ecosystem that allows for timely access to a wide range of data sets and where restrictions, if any, on international data flows should be transparent, limited in scope and the least trade restrictive to achieve a legitimate public policy objective.  

Our Organisations are hopeful that a collaborative dialogue will help shape a policy framework for the collection, use, and international transfer of data that will enrich scientific partnerships between Europe and the U.S. and enable the next generation of data-driven advances in bioscience and life sciences innovations to be developed for the benefit of mankind. As acknowledged in the European Strategy for Data, the convergence of big data and advances in biotechnology, across the spectrum of the life sciences, is unleashing a new wave of innovations, particularly from SMEs, with the potential to profoundly improve quality of life around the world. Medicine will be revolutionized by better diagnostics and cures for diseases. Food security will be improved by enhanced quality and quantity in food and feedstuffs. Our ability to respond to climate change will improve by moving the world towards biobased and zero-waste economies.

Recognizing and respecting the values of privacy, security, safety, and ethics, our Organisations encourage the creation of a research and innovation-friendly European data policy framework that enables biotech innovation and strengthens scientific collaborations with researchers around the world. As part of an innovation-friendly data policy framework, for example, our Organisations believe that addressing certain ambiguities in the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) across European Union Member States would enable data use to support cross-border scientific collaborations that benefit the public health. In addition, our Organisations recognize the potential of the European Reference Networks in the rare disease space, for instance, and how a broader policy framework which reinforces data collection, interoperability, and cross-border data sharing will accelerate breakthrough biotechnology innovations to treat patients waiting for cures.

We are encouraged that through a collaborative conversation in the context of this EU Strategy on Data we can develop policy solutions that enable data-driven innovations in the life sciences and address current challenges. Our Organisations stand ready to serve as a resource and share our collective perspectives.