EU Biotech and Biomanufacturing Initiative

The initiative was listed as one of the priorities for 2024 in the State of the Union 2023. Originally scheduled for 14 February 2024, the adoption took place on 20 March 2024.

The Commission first identified biotechnology as a critical technology on its Recommendation on critical technology areas for the EU’s economic security of 3 October 2023. Moreover, it is also one of the technologies prioritised under the recently adopted Regulation establishing the Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform.

Biotechnology and biomanufacturing are considered two of the most promising technological areas that could contribute to addressing many societal and environmental challenges, modernising the agriculture, forestry, energy, food and feed sectors, and are important enablers for the bioeconomy.

Biotech and manufacturing for more added value with less resources in the sustainable wood-based sector: Biotechnology can strengthen the resilience of forests15 to the effects of climate change, including severe droughts and forest fires. In the case of biomanufacturing, the forest sector offers sustainably produced, renewable and recyclable raw materials that can be used for high-value innovative products, such as batteries or healthcare and pharmaceuticals applications (e.g., nanocellulose-based wound dressings). Furthermore, wood can be used to replace fossil-based or non-renewable materials, for example, in the production of construction materials and textiles and to substitute chemicals.”

Important EU Commission foreseen actions:

  1. The Commission announced that the EU Bioeconomy Strategy will be reviewed in 2025 as a complement to this Communication.
  2. Enable fair comparison with fossil-based products: the Commission will further develop methodologies to ensure a fair comparison between fossil-based and bio-based products, in 2025. This will include reviewing the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) to assess the environmental impact of products.

In the Communication, the Commission identifies some gaps in which the EU should undertake greater efforts to ensure the contribution to competitiveness of this dynamic sector, among they include the need to boost research innovation, technology transfer to the market, regulatory complexity, access to finance, lack of skills, value chain obstacles, intellectual property, public acceptance, economy security.


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