10 März 2011

UK and Norway sign biotech agreement

First such bilateral agreement was signed by the Technology Strategy Board

The UK and Norway have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will see a partnership in the areas of industrial biotechnology and bio-refining, maximising the exploitation of research and development between the two countries.

The agreement follows the bilateral and global partnership signed on 19 January 2011 by Prime Minister David Cameron and Prime Minister Stoltenberg of Norway, which included an agreement to strengthen our trade and investment relationship in a number of areas, including biotech.

The ground-breaking, three-year, agreement was signed in Norway by the Technology Strategy Board and its Norwegian counterpart, Innovation Norway, on 23 February 2011. It is the first such bilateral agreement signed by the Technology Strategy Board.

Explaining the purpose of the agreement Merlin Goldman, Lead Technologist at the Technology Strategy Board, who signed the agreement on behalf of the UK, said:

“This partnership will support knowledge exchange and research & development projects based on industrial biotechnology and bio-refining. These technologies underpin the bio-economy, which in Europe has a market size of €2 trillion and employs 21.5 million people. Investment in these technologies can help to meet the increasing demand for a sustainable supply of food, industrial products and fuels.

”Activities that will be supported through the agreement include a scoping study and networking events, facilitated by the Biosciences KTN – a Technology Strategy Board funded organisation. In the future, UK-Norway collaborative R&D projects could be supported through competitive processes.

The next step will be the publication of the scoping study written by the National Non-Food Crops Centre. Further activities will be guided by this work and other networking activities will be confirmed. Interested organisations should join the Technology Strategy Board’s Norway and UK Group on Connect and visit Innovation Norway’s website for further updates.

Source: Science Business, 2011-03-10.

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