The Commission adopted, on 11 April 2007, a Communication on the mid term review of the strategy on life sciences and biotechnology 2002-2010. According to the Commission, the strategy has been successful, is still relevant and, therefore, its implementation will be continued.
The main results of the implementation 2002-2006 are integration of regional clusters, inspiration of national action plans and adoption of a new legal framework on GMOs.
Not much has changed with developing and facilitating innovation in the EU's biotech sector, which is dominated by SMEs. Small companies still have to cope with EU's fragmented patent systems, lack of risk capital to finance R&D and insufficient co-operation between science and business.
The review proposes to refocus the EU's 30-point action plan on five interdependent priority actions:
- Promote research and market development for life sciences and biotech applications;
- Foster competitiveness by facilitating knowledge transfer and innovation from the science base to industry;
- Encourage informed societal debates on the benefits and risk of life sciences and biotechnology;
- Ensure a sustainable contribution of modern biotechnology to agriculture;
- Improve the implementation of the legislation and its impact on competitiveness.
The Communication is said to provide "an important step towards a competitive and sustainable Knowledge Based Bio-Economy (KBBE)". According to the Commission, bio-economy stands for sustainability and cleaner environment, improved population health, support for rural development, and increased industrial competitiveness through innovative eco-efficient bio-based products based on non-fossil fuels and materials.
The mid term review draws on the Bio4EU study conducted by the Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC). It presents and gives concrete examples of possible biotech applications and assesses their impact from economical, social and environmental point of view.