Brussels, 15 September 2005
Prior to today’s conference on the knowledge-based bio-economy (see IP/05/1148 ), the Commission has already encouraged more structured and in-depth communication and interaction among researchers, industry, other stakeholders and policy-makers at European and national level by supporting the set-up of industry-led technology platforms.
These platforms bring together stakeholders to define a common vision and long-term research agenda on a number of strategically important issues with high societal relevance. For most of them growth, competitiveness and sustainability objectives are dependent upon major medium to long term advances in research and technology.
In the bio-economy sector a number of European technology platforms have already been created over the last few months. For a general description of technology platforms, please see also MEMO/04/298 .
Plant Genomics and Biotechnology
Biotech, food, feed and seed industries, farmers, consumers and research organisations have adopted a vision paper “Plants for the future” in June 2004 and a draft strategic research agenda in August 2005, which is currently under consultation in the Member States.
European Forest-Based Sector
The European woodworking industries and forest owners together with the European paper industries have set up a technology platform for the forest-based sector.
Food for Life
Industry, academia and pan-European organisations supporting the food chain have developed a Vision Document under the auspices of the CIAA, the Confederation of the food and drink industries.
http://etp.ciaa.be/asp/home.asp Technology Platform
“Farm Animal Breeding and Reproduction”
Stakeholders around farm animal breeding and reproduction are brought together to prepare a vision paper on the developments in European farm animal breeding and reproduction.
Global Animal Health
Farmers, the animal health industry, EuropaBio, research organisations are currently drawing up a strategic research agenda.
Stakeholders of industrial (“white”) biotechnology, which forms a section of the Sustainable Chemistry technology platform, adopted a vision paper in April 2005 and have recently put a draft strategic research agenda out to consultation.
Some figures on the bio economy
Sector Annual turn-over (billion €) Employment Food 799 4.1 million Agriculture 210 15 million (full or part time) Paper&Pulp (2003 figures) 400 9.000 (direct) appr. 4 million indirect Forestry/Wood industry 150 (production value) 2.7 million Totals: 1559 22.1 million
In addition, it is estimated that the production value of chemical products made through industrial biotechnology, of which a large part will be bio-based products, is currently about €50 billion and could rise to €160 billion by the end of 2010.