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Biotechnology is being recognised in Europe as an important factor in achieving economic leadership, greening society and securing food and resource security. This was evident last week at the annual European Industrial Biotechnology Forum (EFIB), in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The time is pressing, as a global technology race has erupted that will determine who takes the lead in future manufacturing and trade in this field.
Editorial office / Rotterdam

The EU must therefore start scaling up bioproduction rapidly, coupled with modernisation of the regulatory environment to encourage investment in research and development. Incentives are also needed to attract talent in both business and bio-manufacturing.

The EFIB Rotterdam Statement presented on 25 October by EuropaBio’s director general Claire Skentelbery sets three urgent goals:

  1. Modernising regulation and policy related to biotechnology and biofabrication. Political awareness of the importance of new genetic techniques for plants has been established in Brussels, but it needs to be extended to include additional policy actions for micro-organisms.
  1. Europe should be an active player in global value chains and value-added networks by establishing strategic priorities for European biomanufacturing. This will enable Europe to be competitive and resilient whilst strengthening global supply chains.
  1. A clear investment pathway from R&D to scaled market access is needed to advance technologies to maturity whilst supporting activities within Europe. This involves, the Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE JU), in which the biobased industries and the European Commission jointly promote the development and scale-up of innovative biobased solutions, as well as the European Innovation Council, which supports small companies with a combination of grants and equity.

The full text of the EFIB Rotterdam Statement can be found on EuropaBio’s website, see the blue button below. EFIB 2024 will take place in Marseille and is organised in cooperation with Bioeconomy for Change.

Image: Claire Skentelbery at EFIB 2023