Biotech Ascendant in EU | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: April 26, 2007

Biotech Ascendant in EU

Study finds biotechnology key to Europe's economy
Department: Business

A new study from the European Union's Joint Research Center concludes that life sciences and biotechnology have become central to several sectors of the EU economy.

The study, "Consequences, Opportunities, and Challenges of Modern Biotechnology for Europe," is also known as the Biotech for Europe, or Bio4EU, study.

Among the study's findings: Modern biotechnology and its applications generate almost 2% of EU gross value added and directly employ 96,500 people, mostly in small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Moreover, the study concludes, the number of biopharmaceuticals on the European market has more than doubled in the past 10 years; sales of biotech vaccines have nearly tripled in that time; and as much as 20% of the agricultural sector's sales are now related to biotechnology.

Johan Vanhemelrijck, secretary general of the trade group EuropaBio, says studies like this one "are a valuable tool to help get the word out about the benefits of biotechnology, but it is up to the member states to adopt EU-wide rules and show their faith in the value of the facts and figures."

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