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'Cell factory' Key Action is pivotal to the success of the Quality of Life programme

'A signal should be sent to the Commission and national policy makers, as well as to the cell factory stakeholders concerning the strategic role of the 'Cell factory' Key Action vis-à-vis pressing scientific, industrial and socio-economic needs in Europe and its great potentia...
'A signal should be sent to the Commission and national policy makers, as well as to the cell factory stakeholders concerning the strategic role of the 'Cell factory' Key Action vis-à-vis pressing scientific, industrial and socio-economic needs in Europe and its great potential for Community added value.'

So says the Expert Advisory Group on the 'Cell factory' Key Action, part of the Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources component of the European Union's Fifth RTD Framework Programme. Their comments are published in a position paper representing the group's views on the results of the scientific community's response to the first call for proposals under this Key Action in June 1999 (see RCN 14138).

While the EAG warns that no definitive conclusions can be drawn at this early stage of the programme, it highlights a number of issues in order to clarify the Key Action's strategic role and to improve its usefulness.

'The "Cell factory" Key Action is pivotal to the success of the Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources programme' says the EAG. Highlighting why, the EAG says the 'Cell factory' Key Action:

- Fosters the transition from a linear to an integrated innovation strategy;
- Promotes bio-entrepreneurship and the research-based small bio-firms crucial for economic growth and the creation of jobs;
- Connects the generic activities and the other Key Actions by fostering rapid exchange between fundamental scientific issues and practical implications;
- Provides innovative bio-products, biotechnologies and processes to be used in the fields of health, environment, agri-food, agro-industry and high value added chemicals;
- Mobilises and focuses other national and international initiatives in addition to the Commission's own initiatives.

The Key Action's importance is reflected in the research community's response to the first call for proposals. 'The next call should offer additional opportunities and a more reasonable selection rate of proposals', it says.

Source: European Commission, Research Directorate-General

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