Biotechnology

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By Karl Simpson (auth.), Bernardo Sorj, Mark Cantley, Karl Simpson (eds.)

The accession of Spain and Portugal to club of the ecu neighborhood in January 1985 not just introduced new energy to the ecu initiative, yet served as a robust reminder of the wider dimensions of the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking worlds. A reinforcement of Europe's typical and ancient interna­ tionalism of outlook used to be quite proper within the context of biotechnology; for the subtle multi-disciplinary clinical base, and the different large software components, strength on biotechnol­ ogy an internationalism either for entry to medical potential, and for entry to world wide markets. Such used to be the explanation for 'SOBELA': a 'Seminar on Biotechnol­ ogy in Europe and Latin America', which in April 1987 introduced a few 50 Latin American marketers, policy-makers and educational leaders to Europe and to Brussels. on the Commission's Borschette convention Centre, they heard displays from 11 of the group Member States, every one emphasising its strengths in bio­ know-how and its curiosity in selling business collaboration with agencies in Latin the USA. The seminar used to be opened by means of speeches from Vice-President Karl­ Heinz Narjes on behalf of the fee, and via His Excellency Luis Ramiro Alfonsin of Argentina, senior Latin American diplomat in Brussels. within the last consultation, Directors-General Paolo Fasella (Science, study and improvement, DG XII) and Jean Durieux (External kin, DG I) welcomed Their Excellencies the ambas­ sadors from Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay and Colombia.

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The new biotechnology programme Proposed by the government in 1986, funds were approved in principle in 1987, but at the time of writing final programme approval has not been given, and the following outline is necessarily provisional. The Danish Programme for Biotechnology 1987-1990 Introduction The recent advances in biological sciences have profound implications for applied biology and for Danish production and export, as well as for the environment, health care and nutrition. Denmark must secure an independent competence in biotechnology, characterised by an intensified national effort.

Denmark Despite a tough attitude to biotech legislation, the government has committed another US$60 million in the next four years. A small country, but strong in enzymes and gene technology. Novo has been active in protein engineering and European collaboration. Rationalisation in the domestic biotechnology industry is exemplified by the merger of Novo and Nordisk, both major insulin producers with rDNA technology. France In 1987 the conservative government overturned spending committed by the departed socialists, but the biotechnology Mobilisation Programme continued in weakened form.

Existing information channels, including schools, public libraries etc. will be used for distribution. Access to international studies on technology assessment will be facilitated. The objective is to provide a coherent background for the ongoing debate. 39 Overall Programme Budget The following appropriation has been made for the National Biotechnology Programme: DKr million 1987 1988 1989 1990 Total Research centres Education Information and technology assessment 50 20 100 20 130 15 130 15 410 70 5 5 5 5 20 Totals 75 125 150 150 500 International Collaboration Several Danish institutions and companies participate in the EEC Biotechnology Action Programme 1985-1989.

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