Guest Blog by Nathalie Moll, Secretary General of EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries
I have been active in and passionate about the field of biotechnology for over 20 years because no other industrial sector enhances quality of life, knowledge, innovation, productivity and environmental protection like biotechnology. From new drugs that can address unmet medical needs and fight epidemics and rare diseases, to industrial processes that use renewable feed stocks instead of crude oil, to drought-resistant crops that allow farmers around the world to feed more people under ever-harsher climatic conditions, promoting and investing in biotech pays economic, social and environmental dividends.
However, new developments in biotech continuously push the boundaries of knowledge and invite us to discuss where and how to apply this technology for the benefit of humankind. We must make sure that we engage at all levels of society to take those decisions in the most informed and enlightened way.
This is what motivated us to launch the European Biotech Week initiative three years ago and to contribute to the development of more informed choices at personal and political level regarding biotechnology. This is essential to create the kind of environment which attracts and secures investments, brains and skills, and allows our biotech companies to continue to innovate and flourish in Europe.
The third edition of European Biotech Week took place between 12 and 18 October this year across a record 15 European countries including the UK. With its high-level Bioscience Forum and Autumn Reception, BIA joined over a 100 other activities taking place across Europe in the areas of science, policy, media and finance. Importantly, numerous events took place related to jobs and training including career fairs and hands on laboratories for adults, students and children, competitions, open doors in companies, research institutes and museums as well as theatrical shows. At a national level, the week was even awarded a medal by the Italian President of the Republic.
I would like to invite you to find out more about what happened this year by visiting the week’s website at www.biotechweek.org where an overview of events is available and where we will publish a magazine with photos and highlights from 2015.
Very importantly too, please firmly book the week of 26th of September 2016 in your diaries as the enthusiasm shown by all biotech supporters will once again take centre stage during next year’s edition of European Biotech Week. As a platform for biotech stakeholders to pool their events and activities, this is an open and inclusive initiative, which is entirely free of charge and not driven by any commercial interest. The people, organisations and companies who care about biotech and are active in biotech are the ones that make European Biotech week happen. Join us in 2016!