NORCE Joins EuropaBio and Science|Business in a Call for Accelerated Support of Industrial Biotechnology 

In a recent closed-door roundtable discussion jointly hosted by EuropaBio and Science|Business, experts emphasized the critical role of industrial biotechnology in ensuring Europe’s competitiveness and innovation. NORCE, as a research institute at the forefront of enabling green industrial biotechnology and coordinator of the key EU projects such as OXIPRO, was invited as one of the participants.  


NORCE was advocating for increased support for research dedicated to developing greener technologies and more sustainable consumer products. As Europe transitions to a new Parliament and Commission, stakeholders highlighted the strategic importance of industrial biotechnology in reducing dependency on petrochemicals and fostering the creation of novel, environmentally friendly products. However, to fully realize its potential, the sector requires significant investment and a conducive regulatory environment. 


Claire Skentelbery, Director-General of EuropaBio, emphasized the urgency of harnessing industrial biotechnology’s potential, comparing it to other transformative technologies like AI and quantum computing. She stressed the need for policymakers to streamline regulatory processes to accelerate the development and market entry of innovative biotech products. 


The European Commission has proposed actions to boost biotechnology and biomanufacturing, recognizing their potential to modernize various sectors and contribute to a more sustainable Europe. However, stakeholders underscored the importance of developing business models that attract private investment and fostering collaboration between EU and national governments to support the industry. 


Ana Maria Bravo-Angel, Director of Public Affairs at International Flavors & Fragrances, called for a more pro-entrepreneurial response from the EU, suggesting the use of regulatory sandboxes to test innovative technologies in real-life environments. She emphasized the need for policies that facilitate sustainable innovations and ensure Europe remains at the forefront of global innovation. 


The advisory roundtable discussion concluded with a call to action for industrial biotech leaders and experts to drive the narrative forward and mobilize all stakeholders to support the sector. With the upcoming political transition, there is a unique opportunity to accelerate the growth of industrial biotechnology and ensure Europe’s leadership in sustainable innovation. 


Green innovation is one area where the smaller European partners can have an outsized impact. However, policymakers and civil servants are not necessarily science savvy. Therefore, industrial biotech leaders and experts must drive the narrative”, says Research Director Keith Mc Call.  


Image: Keith McCall in Technology Park Risavika, Norway, – a hub for industrial biotechnology and circular bioeconomy enabling new fermentation processes, CCU-technologies and biorefinery concepts. Photo credits: NORCE 


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