Last week, from 6 to 12 October, the second edition of European Biotech Week took place across Europe through more than 100 events and activities related to biotechnology in 14 European countries. Here EuropaBio, the the European Association for Bioindustries and the organisers of European Biotech Week, give us an overview of the week-long celebration.
The European Biotech Week was inspired by the long standing Canadian National Biotech Week and launched in 2013 in Europe, on the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the DNA molecule. Europe is a collection of Member States each with their particular strengths in the different sectors of biotechnology and all facing the common challenge of how to better communicate about the science, the benefits and the role the technology has in today and tomorrow’s society.
European Biotech Week offers the opportunity to raise the visibility of the sector across the whole of Europe during one week in the year and gives all stakeholders from industry to academia to public and private institutions to individual citizens the opportunity to engage in awareness raising and discussion about the science, the products and the benefits that biotechnology brings to the societies and economies of the European Member States. It is meant to rally and showcase the unique talent and resources of the European biotech sector so as to showcase and discuss the added value biotech brings in areas as diverse as healthcare, agriculture, food, energy, water sanitation and biochemical processing among diverse audiences using different media and initiatives.
European National Biotechnology Associations joined forces this year with charities, large and small biotech companies, universities, cultural and research centres, government institutions, policy makers as well as end users such as patients and farmers to highlight biotech’s achievements to date and to debate future opportunities for the sector. Some of the most notable events included high level policy debates, award-winning industry events such as the UK Bioscience Forum, workshops and career fairs for students, company site visits, social media competitions, theatrical performances, photo exhibition, and flashmobs as well as roving laboratories with hands-on biotech experiments. There was something for anyone with a curious mind and an interest to find out more about biotech.
For a flavour of this year’s events take a look on twitter at #biotechweek. Next year’s European Biotech Week will take place in the week of 12 October 2015.