EuropaBio hosts council meetings und anniversary gala in Brussels
On 16 and 17 November the European biotech industry convened in Brussels for a special occasion. The European Association for Bio-Industries not only hosted the usual fourth-quarter meetings of its sectoral councils (Healthcare, Industrial and Agri-Food), National Associations Council (NAC) and management board, but it also held a gala evening to mark its 20-year anniversary. Some 150 guests from the EU Commission, the industry and member associations, and from academia and media, plus former secretary generals and staff members, gathered to celebrate the achievements of EuropaBio. The event’s speakers included not only Chairman Carlo Incerti and Secretary General Nathalie Moll, but also Maria Leptin, director of EMBO; Brian Ager, EuropaBio’s first secretary general; and Sam Sternberg, who as a doctoral researcher at the Doudna Lab contributed to the development of the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system.
At the NAC meeting, which took place the following morning, this new genome surgery technology was already an item of discussion. The representatives of the national associations also discussed other topics such as synthetic biology, the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, current developments in genetic engineering regulation, and the SME Platform’s working plan. Representatives from EuropaBio’s office gave an overview of the association’s current activities and presented a review of the European Biotech Week, which this year went global as part of the Global Biotech Week. EuropaBio’s board met the next day to adopt the association’s budget, make decisions on membership applications and discuss scenarios, implications and positioning regarding Brexit. EuropaBio’s sectoral councils are slated to meet again in March 2017.