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Cofund on Biotechnologies

Innovation for Europe – life science meets market application

ERA CoBioTech: Developing a vision for biotechnology in Europe

In a joint effort between the ERA CoBioTech partners and the European scientific community, ERA CoBioTech has developed a holistic vision for the future of biotechnology in Europe.

ERA CoBioTech was built on and learns from three previous ERA-NETs: ERA-IB (Towards an ERA in Industrial Biotechnology), ERASynBio (ERA-NET on Synthetic Biology) and ERASysAPP (ERA-Net for Systems Biology Applications). Therefore, the programme is able to use the foundations established through these earlier programmes and provide continuity for the biotechnology sector. In order to drive industrial translation and innovation in Europe, one of ERA CoBioTech’s key missions is to harness the strength and innovative capacity of systems and synthetic biology tools to address industrial biotechnology challenges. However, to achieve the increase in industrial translation and innovation society needs to support and understand the opportunities and challenges of the bioeconomy. Therefore, ERA CoBioTech developed two documents, a strategic agenda and a Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) framework, which both aim to support biotechnology research and thereby the establishment of the bioeconomy in Europe.

The ERA CoBioTech Strategic Agenda identified three key themes:

Theme 1: Research and technology to address sustainability in Europe and beyond

Theme 2: Streamlined and purpose orientated funding across Europe

Theme 3: Engaging the scientific community and beyond

The strategic agenda contains targeted recommendations on topics within each of these themes, which will support the entire biotechnology community in their endeavours to increase Research, Development and Innovation (R, D&I) capability and capacity in this field.

This document is aligned with the Agenda for Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in ERA CoBioTech.

The framework focusses on three main topics:

  1. Learning from past experiences with RRI
  2. Recommendations for best practice RRI
  3. Outline of ERA CoBioTech’s approach to RRI

The Framework was developed specifically for ERA CoBioTech. It outlines how RRI can be embedded into biotechnology research at both the programme and project level in a way that ensures it becomes integrated, accepted and tailored by those involved in ERA CoBioTech. In turn, it is hoped that this work will make biotechnology research more accessible and more valuable to different members of society, demonstrating the opportunities and challenges that a shift to a bio-based economy may bring.