On 1 December EuropaBio launched the EFIB Rotterdam Statement in a breakfast roundtable discussion hosted by the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands to the EU. The discussion brought together cross-cutting stakeholders from across the biotechnology ecosystem, including policymakers, Member State representatives, industry, NGOs and think tanks.
Building on EFIB 2023 which took place in Rotterdam on 24 – 25 October, EuropaBio published the EFIB Rotterdam Statement of 2023 which provides a priority pathway for biotechnology to support Europe’s global leadership, resilience and competitiveness in the context of greater recognition and acceleration for biotechnology. The focus of the discussion was the key asks of the EFIB Rotterdam statement:
Ask 1: Modernising regulation and policy: enabling impact
Following the proposed new regulatory framework for NGT plants, the EU Commission should publish a proposal for additional policy actions for microorganisms by Q4 2024.
Ask 2: Education and awareness: enabling a global perspective for Europe
Europe should be an active player in global value chains and value-added networks by establishing strategic priorities for European biomanufacturing.
Ask 3: Financing innovation: enabling technologies
A clear investment pathway from R&D to scaled market access is needed to advance technologies to maturity whilst supporting activities within Europe.
Key takeaways from the roundtable discussion include:
- Education and awareness: enhanced IB understanding across policy making and investment, including the need for more education and awareness raising from industry, such as initiatives to inform and explain how it already plays a vital part of Europe's economy.
- Global perspective: Discussions should take place within a global context so that Europe creates strategy and actions across all sectors in the light of global competitiveness.
- Scaling up: Accelerating industry's ability to scale up, including a capital market union for investor ambition into early-stage biotechnology players.
- European manufacturing: Sending clear policy signals for long term predictable IB industrial pathways to enable European innovation to scale up in Europe.
- Ecosystem collaboration: work outside silos so that all policy makers and wider society walk the same path towards cohesive legislation in line with market pull.
The Rotterdam statement and takeaways from the discussion will feed into EuropaBio’s ambitions for the upcoming year, looking ahead to the European elections in 2024 and publication of the announced Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative.