Emerging technologies

OECD Workshop on Biotechnology for Environment in the Future: Science, Technology and Policy - Agenda and Presentations


Agenda and Presentations


DAY 1 – 16 September 2010
Venue: Sala del Borgo, Conference Venue, via della Fiera, 52, Rimini, Italy


Welcome and Introduction
Dr. Giuliana Gasparrini, Head of the "Division of Sustainable Development, Climate and Energy" of the Italian Ministry for the Environment
Robert Wells, Head of the Biotechnology Unit, OECD


Keynote Session
Addressing Global Challenges through Science and Technology
Michio Oishi, Executive Director, Kazusa DNA Research Institute, Japan

Setting Science and Technology Priorities for Green Growth, Agricultural Biotechnology to alleviate environmental problems ( including hunger &  poverty)
Wilhelm Gruissem , Professor, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Main themes:

-  National and international science and technology policy agenda and mitigation of global challenges

-  Leverage of national strategies on green growth and innovation through biotechnology applicable to the environment  


Workshop Chair: Michio Oishi, Executive Director, Kazusa DNA Research Institute, Japan
Workshop Rapporteur: Joyce Tait, ESRC Innogen Centre, University of Edinburgh, UK

Session I: Biotechnology for Environmental Benefits: Current and Future Trends in Science and Technology
Session Chair: Cameron Begley, General Manager, Business Development and Commercialisation at CSIRO, Australia


Objectives of the session: (i) To provide the current and future S&T trends of Environmental Biotechnology; (ii) To map emerging issues of environmental biotechnology that might impede further S&T advancements in this area.


Questions addressed:
-  What are the main promising areas of biotechnology applicable to the environment?
-  What are the current scientific and technological advancements in these areas? What is needed (should or could be done) in the future?
-  Are the Environmental Biotechnology R&D phases optimal compared to other sectors of biotechnology?
-  Are there knowledge gaps (in the basic and applied life sciences) that might impede further translational research on Environmental Biotechnology while applying leaving organisms to (in) the open environments?
-  How these gaps could be filled in? Are there any successful mechanisms in place?


Soil Bioremediation
Lenka Wimmerova, Project Manager, Dept of Development and the Biotechnological Laboratory, DEKONTA, Czech Republic 

In situ groundwater bioremediation: perspectives and barriers
Mauro Majone, Professor, University of Rome La Sapienza and Member of the technical board of the Italian Ministry of Environment, Italy

Water Treatment and Technologies to valorise organic wastes
Emmanuel Trouvé, Director, Dept Assessment Municipal WW & Sludge Dept. Manager, Veolia Water, France


Agricultural biotechnology, GM crops and trees
Armand Séguin, Research scientist, Natural Resources Canada, Laurentian Forestry Centre, Canada
Questions & comments from the audience


DAY 2 – 17 September 2010


Session I (cont’d): Biotechnology for Environmental Benefits: Current and Future Trends in Science and Technology

Workshop Rapporteur: Joyce Tait, ESRC Innogen Centre, University of Edinburgh, UK
Session Chair to recall questions to be addressed and rapporteur to summarise


Biorecycle of Phosphorus Resource for Sustainable Agriculture and Industry
Hisao Ohtake, Professor,  Dept of Biotechnology, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, Japan

Biotechnology for preventing environmental contamination (current and future trends and issues)
Ramani Narayan, University Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University, Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, USA


Bio-detection  protocols and tools (current and future trends and issues)
Davide Merulla, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Questions & comments from the audience


Session II: Biotechnology for Environmental Benefits: Realising Economic and Societal Potential

Session Chair: Robert Wells, Head of Biotechnology Unit, OECD

Objectives of the session: Discuss the means to realise the economic and societal potential of Environmental Biotechnology.


Questions addressed:
-  What are the main incentives that drive public policy and public support for Environmental Biotechnology R&D?
-  What are the economic incentives that drive private sector toward the development of Environmental Biotechnologies?
-  How to fully realize the economic and societal potentials of Environmental Biotechnologies? Are there successful approaches?
-  What governments can do to help create efficient investment and market environment? What business models are currently available?
-  How the environmental and economic performance of environmental biotechnologies can be evaluated, including the R&D phases (e.g. LCAs)?
-  Why public perception and public acceptance of environmental biotechnologies differ across countries and regions? Are there any successful examples where public opinion was favorable to the use of Environmental Biotechnologies?

Martin Remondet, Haut Conseil des Biotechnologies, France

Davide Viaggi, Associate Professor, Dept of Agricultural Economics and Engineering, University of Bologna, Italy
Kazuo Watanabe, Professor, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Science, Tsukuba University, Japan

Session III: Supportive Policy Environment: Current and Future Policy Trends and Issues
Session Chair: Iain Gillespie, Head of Science and Technology Policy Division, OECD

Objectives of the session: (i) To understand the national/international policy environment in which the Environmental Biotechnology currently evolves and the current policy imperfections as well as the ways to overcome these; (ii) To identify emerging policy issues and potential ways to address these.


Questions addressed:
-  What national S&T policies (including regulatory frameworks) have been developed and implemented nationally to frame the development of Environmental Biotechnology R&D?
-  How such policies impacted (or may impact) the development of Environmental Biotechnology R&D?
-  What successful examples could be reported?
-  Are there any examples of failures caused by the current policy and regulatory frameworks?
-  How the policy/regulatory inefficiencies may be overcome?
-  What might be the emerging policy challenges in this sector?
-  What are the core S&T policy issues that might impede further advancement of the Environmental Biotechnology innovation (science, technology, translational research, policy, financial, regulatory, public perception, etc.)?
-  What might be the priority S&T policy goals to be addressed by governments to support the Environmental Biotechnology R&D?
-  What role the OECD may play to address the core policy issues and to foster the development of Environmental Biotechnology R&D?


Sue Popple, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), UK

John Claxton, Deputy Head of Unit, Biotechnologies, DG Research, European Commission


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