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Minerva Biotecnologica 2001 December;13(4):313-23

Copyright © 2002 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

The development and economic impact of biotechnology especially regarding the biomedical sector within Europe’s main industrialized countries

Evangelisti M., Vitiello E., Campi M. G., Magnano A. C., Ruzzon T.

Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Servizio Biotecnologie, Genova, Italy


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Bio­tech­nol­o­gy, rep­re­sent­ing the ­most prom­is­ing inno­va­tive tech­nol­o­gy for the ­future, is ­able to con­trib­ute to improv­ing the qual­ity of ­life. ­Even ­though it can be ­applied in numer­ous dif­fer­ent sec­tors, it has par­tic­u­lar impor­tance in the bio­med­i­cal ­field. In ­this ­report, we ­shall ­look at the way in ­which bio­tech­nol­o­gy is ­able to con­trib­ute to the ­field of oncol­o­gy, in par­tic­u­lar, for diag­nos­tic and ther­a­py pur­pos­es. In addi­tion, bio­tech­nol­o­gy ­brings ­about ben­e­fits in oth­er sec­tors too, ­like ­those of agri­cul­ture-­food, envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and chem­i­cals, etc. We ­shall ­present a pano­ram­ic ­view on the devel­op­ment of bio­tech­nol­o­gy in the ­main indus­tri­al­ized Euro­pe­an coun­tries ­whilst refer­ring to oth­er coun­tries in the ­world ­which ­lead in ­this ­area, focus­ing espe­cial­ly on the Unit­ed ­States. We ­shall exam­ine, in par­tic­u­lar, the bio­tech­nol­o­gy devel­op­ment in the Unit­ed King­dom, Ger­ma­ny and ­France, the ­three ­most com­pet­i­tive coun­tries in ­Europe; we ­shall ­also con­sid­er the sit­u­a­tion of bio­tech­nol­o­gy in Ita­ly, a coun­try ­where, ­despite hav­ing to ­still ­make ­progress in the ­field, has ­achieved ­some ­very impor­tant ­results in the ­past few ­years. More­over, the essen­tial fac­tors ­which are ­able to ­favour the devel­op­ment of bio­tech­nol­o­gy, ­which is con­sid­ered by now irre­ver­sible, ­shall be ­looked ­into. ­These fac­tors prin­ci­pal­ly ­regard a ­sound and endur­ing co-oper­a­tion ­between the ­research ­world and indus­tries, ­whose inter­ac­tion ­with one ­another is extreme­ly ­vital in ­order to over­come the exist­ing lim­its and uncer­tain­ties, ­also with­in the ­area of car­ry­ing out tech­nol­o­gy trans­fer. In addi­tion, it is impor­tant to remem­ber the fun­da­men­tal ­need for appro­pri­ate leg­is­la­tive pol­i­cies ­which can ren­der bio­tech­nol­o­gy devel­op­ment sim­pler, ­whilst tak­ing ­into ­account the com­mon Euro­pe­an reg­u­la­tions, not to men­tion the eco­nom­ic incen­tives and tax ­aids for ­those who ­intend on involv­ing them­selves with­in in the bio­tech­nol­o­gy sec­tor. It is ­most impor­tant to not under­es­ti­mate the pub­lic opin­ion on bio­tech­nol­o­gy ­which is ­often one of sus­pi­cion and mis­trust, great­ly influ­enced by the think­ing ­that ­there can be ­more ­health ­risks asso­ciat­ed ­with bio­tech­nol­o­gy ­than actu­al ben­e­fits. How­ev­er, we ­must ­also remem­ber ­that the bio­tech­nol­o­gy ­field is a rel­a­tive­ly ­recent sci­en­tif­ic dis­ci­pline, and so lit­tle is ­known by the pub­lic at ­large and it is some­times ­true ­that, unfor­tu­nate­ly, the ­mass-­media actu­al­ly con­trib­utes neg­a­tive­ly to spread­ing the mis­trust and ambi­gu­ity ­which can sur­round it, ­often pro­vid­ing incor­rect, mis­lead­ing and unre­li­able sourc­es of infor­ma­tion.

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