Biotech engaging communities

Today’s blog post comes from John Brennan – Secretary General of EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries

John Brennan - High resolution

I only joined EuropaBio this summer and am just blown away by the excitement and energy there is around biotechnology, and what research and innovation in biotechnology can offer society. Only in the healthcare area, the benefits of this technology are incredible. Biotech contributes to the prevention of communicable diseases and to the reduction of the health, social and economic burden of major diseases, such as cancers, chronic conditions and rare diseases. It is reducing the pressure on healthcare services and contributing to a healthier and more productive labour force.

Biotechnology is also key for Europe's competitiveness and economy in terms of research and innovation as well as in terms of the creation of employment, productivity, growth and external trade.

The excitement is worth showcasing and it is important that such biotech benefits are shared beyond the Biotech community.

A prime example of such engagement is the European Biotech Week initiative. With its 5th edition taking place this week from 27 September to 1 October, those involved in biotech across Europe raise awareness and share knowledge with their communities and the public at large about the sector’s discoveries, benefits and potential. The week was even awarded a medal by the Italian President of the Republic in 2015, and the 2017 initiatives in Portugal take place under the High Patronage of the Portuguese President.

Initiatives are as diverse and exciting as the European biotech community itself is. They include conferences, workshops, hands on laboratories, exhibitions and open doors in companies, laboratories, research institutes and museums. In Brussels, the week will be featured during a weeklong exhibition in the European Parliament.

The topics covered in such activities are inspiring and exciting, including advances in combating cancer, immunotherapies, personalised medicines, the role of biobanks or fighting antibiotic resistance with ‘superdrugs for superbugs’.   

This year is also the most successful edition of the week ever: over 140 events in 19 countries show the excitement generated by biotechnology in Europe, at both local and national levels.

Knowing that biotechnology has the potential to greatly benefit people is a good thing – showing and sharing that potential with society and the local community is even better. Therefore, I do hope that you can join in and learn more about Biotechnology in an event close to you. You can find out more about what is happening in your country by visiting


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