Modern biotechnology and its applications generate almost 2% of the gross added value of the EU, comparable to other higher-profile industrial sectors, it being a highly innovative sector that is significantly on the rise world-wide and which will increasingly take on a more prominent role in industrialized economies, as well as in its contributions to the health and well-being of all populations.
Biotechnology can be defined as the application of science and technology to living organisms and to their parts, products and models, in order to alter living and non-living materials so as to produce knowledge, goods and services, and make up an economic sector consisting of companies whose main activities involve technological research and development focused on the aforementioned applications.
Thirty years after its appearance, biotechnology continues to significantly expand on a world-wide basis and is increasingly a crucial sector for the economic and social progress of most industrialized countries, along with that of various developing regions. In fact, there are currently no doubts that the cross-sectional role that Biotechnology plays in creating and fostering innovation in various key industries – from the pharmaceutical to the environmental, chemical to agrifood – is an important factor in the differentiation and competitiveness of economies and societies. Biotechnology creates specialized employment, fosters advanced training and facilitates foreign investment in cutting edge knowledge areas, resulting in extremely high value added products and services.