BIO Deutschland Calls for Recognition of Biotechnology
BIO Deutschland has called for recognition of biotechnology by the political sphere. On the occasion of a meeting of the Bundestag Committee on Technology Assessment in January, Peter Heinrich, Chairman of the Board of BIO Deutschland stated, “As a ‘land of ideas’ that boasts about its technological innovative strength, Germany cannot afford to be even more hostile to technology. Moreover, this is at the cost of better healthcare with new medications, healthier food, and environmental protection.”
The meeting of the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment included a final discussion on the Innovation Report on obstacles to the establishment of new key technologies. The report explicitly lists biotechnology as one of the technologies “that represent future opportunities and tomorrow’s growth markets and can lead to a large number of applications.”
The biotechnology sector in Germany is characterised by mainly small and medium-sized enterprises. It uses around half of its turnover in the research and development of innovative products. Innovative diagnostic procedures and medications are already of benefit to patients. In addition, the industry has been using biotechnological processes that reduce greenhouse gas for years, for example in washing powders. And in the food sector, the production of many foodstuffs (such as cheese) would have negative consequences for the environment without the help of biotechnology.
“Against this background,” said Viola Bronsema, Managing Director of the association, “it is simply absurd that a federal state like North Rhine-Westphalia has declared itself to be “GM free”, while the necessary structural transformation of the region is largely due to innovative economic sectors.” Bronsema pointed out that in this way, politics are preventing further investments in innovations, unsettling the population, and thus endangering Germany as an economic location.
The Innovation Report discussed at the meeting is available in German as a PDF file at: