Saturday, June 22, 2024

Biomanufacturing Policy Summit Report 2024 Highlights Policy Pathways for Europe’s Biomanufacturing Sector

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The 2024 Biomanufacturing Policy Summit, organized by EuropaBio, took place in Brussels, gathering 73 participants, including representatives from the European Commission and the European Parliament. This annual meeting brings together biotech industry representatives and policymakers to discuss key topics for biomanufacturing across various sectors.

This year’s summit focused on “Policy Pathways for Biomanufacturing in Europe,” addressing ways to defragment and accelerate biomanufacturing in the EU while comparing policies from other global regions. The discussions are particularly timely, as various policy files and discussions at the EU level impact products and processes, including biopharmaceuticals, new genomic techniques, detergents, alternative proteins, and cell cultivation.

The summit highlighted the need for a coherent and harmonized regulatory environment to build trust and ensure safety. The proposal for plants developed using new genomic techniques (NGTs) was cited as an example of legislation impacting biomanufacturing. Panelists emphasized the interdependence within the biotech ecosystem, encompassing SMEs, large companies, and academia. Challenges were noted in the healthcare sector, such as reliance on non-EU suppliers for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and raw materials, as well as the EU’s lack of competitiveness compared to other regions.

Summit Highlights Importance of Food Biotechnology and Strategic Vision for EU Biomanufacturing

The discussions underscored the importance of recognizing food biotechnology and biomanufacturing as vital for Europe’s food security and sovereignty. Regulatory challenges for novel foods accessing the market need to be resolved, and the single market should be aligned across Member States and the EU. The summit also addressed the need for greater access to sustainable and cost-effective feedstock to enable the scaling up of biomanufacturing. It was noted that Europe could benefit from improving its policy and regulatory processes to accelerate market access for new products and remain competitive with other global regions.

The panel discussions concluded with the question, “What does the EU want to be?” emphasizing the need for a strategic vision for biomanufacturing in Europe. The EU needs to adopt a smart industrial policy rooted in science-based policymaking, promoting innovation, scaling up infrastructure, and creating resilient supply chains. EuropaBio’s Biomanufacturing Platform, which aims to represent biomanufacturing at the highest policy levels in Europe, was highlighted during the summit. The platform champions biomanufacturing across healthcare, industrial biotechnology, and national associations, bringing together various voices to accelerate Europe’s growth.

Biomanufacturing Policy

2024 SWOT Analysis Reveals Europe’s Strengths and Challenges in Biomanufacturing Policy

The 2024 SWOT analysis presented at the summit reflects the EU’s current position globally for biomanufacturing across sectors. The analysis highlighted Europe’s strengths in high-quality R&D and innovation, skills development, and current infrastructure capacity. However, it also pointed out weaknesses such as the lack of a dedicated industrial strategy for biotechnology, limited access to feedstock, and complex market access processes.

Opportunities for Europe include boosting technology transfer, enhancing access to capital, and leading the global regulatory landscape with science-based legislation. Threats identified include politically-driven decision-making over science-based policies, supply-chain security issues, public understanding and acceptance of biotechnology, and intense global competition.

Overall, the 2024 Biomanufacturing Policy Summit emphasized the need for Europe to address its biomanufacturing strengths and weaknesses, fostering a competitive and sustainable biotech sector through smart, science-based policies and enhanced collaboration across sectors.

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Resource: European Association for Bioindustries, May 14, 2024

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