BIO Deutschland Lends Support to a Parliamentary Evening on White Biotechnology
In order to unleash its entire potential and to make a strong contribution to Germany’s economy, white biotechnology, as a cornerstone of the bio-economy, needs political support and internationally competitive parameters. This was called for by the five winners of the initiative by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BioIndustrie2021 - BIOKATALYSE2021, Cluster Biopolymere/Biowerkstoffe, CIB Frankfurt, BioM WB GmbH and CLIB 2021 - along with IWBio (Industrial Association of White Biotechnology), BIO Deutschland, the German Industry Association of Biotechnology (DIB) in the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI), and DECHEMA at their first joint parliamentary evening on the topic of Industrial Biotechnology in Germany – Providing an Impetus to a Sustainable Bio-Economy.
Around 80 guests attended the event held on 24 November at the F.A.Z. Building in Berlin, including the Parliamentary State Secretary from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Thomas Rachel, members of parliament, and a large number of high-ranking representatives of the chemical industry, biotechnology, and a wide range of end user sectors. The event hosts stated that “the regular, direct exchange of views between politicians and practitioners on current topics is important in explaining new developments to those working in the political sphere.”
White biotechnology combines the economy with ecology and has the potential to become one of the key technologies of this century. It supports approaches that help to overcome the global challenges of the 21st century, such as climate change, depleting fossil resources and sources of energy, and population growth, making sustainable growth and increasing prosperity possible. It is therefore an important answer to the globally increasing demand for food and renewable resources for material and energy use, as well as medical care.
In his speech, State Secretary Thomas Rachel stressed the great importance of industrial biotechnology. “In its new National Research Strategy, BioEconomy 2030, the Federal Government will invest 2.4 billion euro and build a bridge between technology, the economy and ecology. White biotechnology will play a significant role in this research strategy, as it promises to be increasingly important in economic terms and to implement the principle of sustainability.”
Thomas Hirth, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB) and the Institute for Interfacial Engineering at the University of Stuttgart, and a member of the Bio-Economy Council, underlined “the major role of industrial biotechnology as a keystone of a bio-economy in Germany”.
Stefanie Heiden, Chief Executive of the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (Otto von Guericke – AiF), observed that “research and development require entrepreneurial transformation so that innovation is efficiently transferred to the market.”
Gerhard Schmid of Wacker Chemie AG and Director of the business division of Wacker Biosolutions, emphasised that “white biotechnology is an important engine for innovation in the chemical industry in Germany.”
Karl-Heinz Maurer, R&D Director at Henkel KGaA and IWBio highlighted that “white biotechnology represents the core of the knowledge-based bio-economy, and thus a technological approach that is important for maintaining and developing the competitiveness of various industrial branches based in Germany.”