Leveraging research, development, and innovation, encouraging collaboration between the public, non-profit and private sectors, combating fragmentation and bureaucracy: these are some of the topics discussed in the first working group “Programming premise and strengthening the ecosystem”, the first stage of the project: “Biotech, the best future for our health, for our environment, for Italy”, commissioned by Assobiotec Federchimica.
The project includes 4 different working tables, from June to October, and will be finalized in a Manifesto, but above all in a Position Paper with operational proposals for the growth and development of the sector, for companies and the country. It requires a long-term plan, investment in research and innovation and the ability to attract capital. Financial incentives are not enough, and they will be copious as never before in Italy, but it is necessary to create a real ecosystem favorable to innovation: a competitive tax system for those who invest, a drastic review of bureaucracy, with targeted simplifications on the whole supply chain, ranging from the laboratory to the patient’s bed or “from farm to the fork”. And it is necessary to eliminate the complexity and slowness that often keep investments away from Italy.
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The biotech sector has the greatest potential for return on investments
“I am satisfied with this first confrontation during which common language and shared analyses emerged among all those present, but also interesting ideas to build together a vision and even more outlining operational proposals for the growth and development of the biotechnology sector in Italy and for the national restart,” said Riccardo Palmisano, President of Assobiotec Federchimica, after the working table of last June 22nd.
“We have outlined the guidelines to follow for the relaunch of Italy and we will present a series of concrete proposals to the Government, starting with the technical health table, recently convened by MISE. Our country has many excellenses along the entire supply chain, from the laboratory to the end user, patient or consumer. We must identify the obstacles along the way and unite these points of Italian excellence to build an all-round project, capable of making the most of our precious assets,” added Palmisano.
“During the Covid-19 emergency, we saw many experiments approved in record time,” said Rita Cataldo, CEO Takeda Italia. “We would like this modus operandi to continue even after the emergency has returned. Italy has an excellent human capital in terms of research and science, we have excellent universities and schools of specialization. What we need are stable and clear regulations that allow the development of long-term plans.”
“Our country stands out from the others for the peaks of scientific excellence of its universities and research institutions, a little less for the number of researchers and for attracting investment from abroad,” said Piero Salatino, delegate of the Minister of University and Research Gaetano Manfredi. “The MUR is committed to launching the National Research Plan 2021-27, which provides for a consistent commitment to enhance the excellence of the country, and to improve, with structural interventions, some ‘fundamentals’ of the national public research system, including interdisciplinarity”.
The project “Biotech, the best future for our health, for our environment, for Italy” focuses on two important directions. On the one hand, the construction of a shared vision with the main actors of the competent institutions, an indispensable basis for providing national and regional decision-makers with a concrete action plan for the development of the biotech sector in Italy. On the other hand, creating greater knowledge and awareness of these technologies through more widespread communication.
“Never before has research been the focus of public attention and scientists have almost become influencers,” said Palmisano. “It is therefore essential to seize the moment to understand biotech and its potential, considering that, according to OECD estimates, in 2030 80% of pharmaceutical products, 50% of agricultural products, 35% of chemical and industrial products will be biotech, accounting for 2.7% of global GDP, an enormous weight in the world economy.”
“Together with ICT, biotech is universally regarded as the sector with the greatest potential for direct and indirect return on investment and is already the engine for innovation in Life Sciences and the Bioeconomy, which together account for about 20% of national GDP. On this basis we must build the relaunch of the economy and employment in Italy”, concludes Palmisano.
After the first meeting there are scheduled: on July 13th the “Vertical Meeting on Life Sciences”; on September 14th the “Vertical Meeting on Bioeconomy”; on October 12th the plenary meeting for “Sharing and validation of the contents emerged in the work of the different groups”. The final event will take place on November 9th: a plenary and some vertical workshops will bring the general public – with particular reference to young people – closer to the value of biotechnology and the biotech supply chain.
The event will be an opportunity to present the Manifesto and the Paper (with data, paths, challenges, difficulties, relations, scenarios, vision and concrete proposals) shared with the Institutions, to be made available to the Government to enhance the biotech supply chain for the future of a healthier and more sustainable Italy.
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First published in TECNELAB, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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