Financing papers: The role of the European Commission in fostering innovation in the life sciences and biotechnology
Journal of Commercial Biotechnology
Life sciences and biotechnology are fundamental to our ability to meet societal, environmental and economic challenges, be it the healthcare needs of a rich but ageing population in Europe, food security and improved healthcare for the ever-growing populations of the developing world, or the need to transform our economies and lifestyles towards more sustainable patterns. The new knowledge offers many opportunities, and competitive challenge obliges us always to seek to use our knowledge and
... ur knowledge and techniques in ever more efficient and effective ways. To derive maximum benefit from recent and continuing progress in the life sciences and biotechnology, Europe has to invest more and better in research and technological development, and support the creation of a skilled and mobile workforce. Academia-industry links, in particular with small research-intensive biotechnology companies, have to be increased. The capital base of these companies has to be strengthened. Proper conditions for the commercialisation of biotechnology innovations are necessary, such as a science-based regulatory framework, and strong, harmonised and affordable intellectual property protection. Basic ethical and other values -including consumer choice -must be respected. The European Commission can play a major role in fostering innovations in the life sciences sector, through its Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development, as well as through other policy initiatives implementing a coherent EU strategy for biotechnology and life sciences.