Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

‘Plants for the future’: a 2025 vision for European plant biotechnology

24.06.2004


As the world’s population will grow from 6 to 9 billion over the next 50 years, and fossil resources will diminish, the need for food, “bio-fuels” and “bio-materials” from renewable, plant-based resources will increase. A report presented in Brussels today highlights how advances in plant genomics and biotechnology can help Europe to address these challenges, for instance with stress-resistant plants. Leading representatives from research, the food and biotech industry, the farming community and consumers’ organisations presented to European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin a long-term vision for European plant biotechnology towards 2025. The paper identifies three priorities: to produce more affordable, healthy and better quality food products; encourage environmental and agricultural sustainability; and enhance competitiveness in European agriculture, industry and forestry. Stakeholders and policymakers will participate in the new technology platform on plant biotechnology to deliver a strategic research agenda by the end of the year.

"Despite Europe having been at the forefront of plant science and biotechnology, its leading position has drastically deteriorated in recent years, due to public concerns over the impact of these technologies, insufficient communication of the benefits of this technology to the public, and lack of strategic research programmes as compared to our competitors,” said Philippe Busquin. “This is alarming in view of the challenges Europe is facing: providing a growing world population with more healthy foodstuffs in a sustainable way and replacing fossil-based materials with new, environmentally sound bio-materials made from renewable plant resources".

Lagging behind



While US biotech firms spend €650 million a year on R&D, their EU counterparts invest only €400 million. Last year, the American government launched a National Plant Genome Initiative with a total budget of €1.1 billion from 2003 to 2008. EU15 support is estimated to be around €80 million annually.

Towards a sustainable bio-economy

Agricultural production accounts for 17 million farms in Europe and 8% of the EU-25 workforce, while the agro-food industry has a €600 billion annual turnover. The vision paper highlights the role biotechnology and genomics can play in helping the EU move to a knowledge based bio-economy that uses renewable plant resources.

New stress-resistant plants will be capable of increased agricultural productivity, despite increased seasonal instabilities and climate change, while also requiring less fertiliser, pesticide and water. The research agenda can also increase genetic diversity of plant crops, and boost the development of “green” materials, including bio-fuels.

The vision

The vision paper calls for a European technology platform on plant biotechnology research aimed at:
· Developing a strategic research agenda covering genomics, physiology, agronomy, ecology, bioinformatics and other emerging skills
· Boosting public and private R&D investment and enhancing research transparency
· Strengthening industry support for the platform’s research agenda
· Promoting societal consensus through mutual understanding and communication

Fabio Fabbi | EU Commission
Further information:
http://www.europa.eu.int
http://europa.eu.int/comm/biotechnology

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona

nachricht Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>