Consequences, opportunities and challenges of modern biotechnology for Europe

Apr 2007

The Commission assigned the “Biotechnology for Europe” (Bio4EU) study to its Joint Research Centre, where the study was carried out by the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (JRC-IPTS). It focused on current applications of modern biotechnology, i.e. analysing the successful developments of modern biotechnology in the EU until the present day. The study was designed in a way that allows identifying and quantifying as far as possible the economic, social and environmental implications of modern biotechnology applications in different sectors, and the contributions they make to major EU policy goals.
This report summarises the data gathered and the analysis carried out in the course of the study.
Chapter 2 assess the direct and indirect uptake of modern biotechnology and the resulting socio-economic implications for the three main application sectors, i.e. medicine and health care, primary production and agro-food, and industrial production processes, energy and environment. While the analysis of the social and environmental implications is more of a qualitative nature, the economic significance was quantified using a common methodology.
In Chapter 3 the prerequisites for the development of modern biotechnology applications in the EU compared to other regions are analysed, based on scientific publication and patent application data and on data on the biotechnology sector.
Chapter 4 discusses the implications of modern biotechnology in terms of contributions to major EU policy objectives such as the Lisbon Agenda and the Sustainable Development Strategy.
Additional information on modern biotechnologies and methodology can be found in the Annex.

By: E. Zika, I. Papatryfon, O. Wolf, M. Gómez-Barbero, A. J. Stein, A. Bock (JRC)

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