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An Analysis of Synthetic Biology Research in Europe and North America


In order to meet the goals set at the Lisbon Summit, March 2000, to prepare Europe's transition to becoming the most competitive, dynamic, knowledge-based economy in the world, significant emphasis must be placed on scientific research and technology devel opment. This was further emphasized at the Barcelona European Council in 2002, which determined an effort was needed to accelerate Europe's investment in research to a level of 3 percent of GDP by 2010. To accomplish this investment in research, there must be consistent growth through leveraging opportunities. Synthetic biology - the development of biological components that do not naturally exist and the re-modelling of existing biological elements - is a key and rapidly growing scientific research and i nnovation sector. To maximize the value to Europe of such research, an understanding of the level of research desired and the factors needed to reach that level is required, so that the EC can produce an environment that fosters a level of research which i s most beneficial to the EU. The proposed project is designed to identify key attributes of synthetic biology research in Europe and North America (USA and Canada), and determine potential differences in research environments (including funding arrangeme nts) across European countries, USA and Canada that impact the level and nature of synthetic biology research and the short and long-run commercial possibilities. This will be accomplished through a comprehensive study that includes a review of relevant studies, and identification and survey of Key Stakeholders representing research, industry and government. The results will be used as a basis on which the EC can provide policy and funding options to maximize the effectiveness of its support to synthetic biology. The results of the project will be disseminated widely to policy makers and synthetic biology sector participants via a seminar, an interactive website and other dissemination activities.

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EU contribution
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