Recent focus on industrial biotechnology has been on supply-side limitations – including on capital supply, human resources and globalisation of R&D. Two OECD Workshops were held in the context of the 2008 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and EuropaBio’s European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology to validate the findings of this work and policy recommendations. The OECD Task Force on Industrial Biotechnolopgy will deliver a policy report on Supply Side Issues for Industrial Biotechnology, this report will provide a set of policy recommendations for governments. The report is aimed to be released late 2010.
The Task Force on Industrial Biotechnology is currently focusing on the development of OECD Best Practices in Assessing the Environmental and Economic Sustainability of Bio-based Products. The best practices are expected to help further development of the bio-economy for its implementation by a wide range of manufacturing sectors where biotechnology is applied. To start the process, the Task Force organized an OECD Workshop on Assessing the Sustainability of Bio-based Products held in Montreal, Canada on July 23-24, 2009, click here for more details. Some of the topics discussed were: national, or international approaches for assessment of sustainability of bio-based products, such as bio-based chemicals, bio-based plastics, enzymes, bio-based materials, and bio-fuels. The recently published OECD case study on “Metrics to Support Informed Decision-making for Consumers of Bio-based Products” will be used as a basis for the development of best practices.
To continue this work, the Task Force organised a Panel Discussion hosted by the US Biotechnology Industry Association (BIO) and held on June 29, 2010 in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the 7th World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bio-processing. The panel discussed development of OECD best practices for Assessing the Sustainability of Bio-based Products. Around 50 practitioners in the area of Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs), policy makers and industrial representatives attended the meeting.
Outlook on Industrial Biotechnology
The Task Force will be developing between 2009-2010 an Outlook on Industrial Biotechnology which will address new technological trends and applications; finance and business models; development in nature and structure of the industry and challenges for public policy. A workshop on the "Outlook on Industrial Biotechnology" was organised in Vienna, Austria in January 2010. About 50 participants discussed current and emerging trends and policies related to Industrial Biotechnology, Click here for the Workshop programme, presentations and background papers.
As a follow-up to the above Workshop, a Workshop entitled “Building an Efficient Bio-Based Economy through Industrial Biotechnology” will be held in St Petersburg, Russian Federation, on 28-29 October 2010 This workshop aims to: (1) to identify key issues that countries face while building a bio-based economy; and (2) to develop a set of practical solutions to overcome these issues. It will especially focus on subjects relevant to the BRIC countries, click here for more details.