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19.04.2018

Kick-off for GBS 2018

Federal research minister Anja Karliczek officially opened the Global Bioeconomy Summit. 800 international experts from politics, industry, and science joined the 2-day event in Berlin.

Global Bioeconomy Summit 2018
Federal research minister Anja Karliczek officially opened the Global Bioeconomy Summit. 800 international experts from politics, industry, and science came to Berlin to discuss the future of bioeconomy.
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BIOCOM AG/Philipp Graf

A warm and sunny morning in Berlin: Minister of Research and Education, Anja Karliczek, officially opened the second Global Bioeconomy Summit in front of 800 international experts at the Deutsche Telekom's Representative Office in Berlin. Julia Klöckner, Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, will join the Summit as well and address the attendees on Friday, April 20.

A new framework for bioeconomy

"Nature is such a beautiful role model - but how can we use its resources without depleting them?", summarised Anja Karliczek the potential and the challenges of the future of bioeconomy. In order to realize all of its possible potential, Karliczek urges to work together and to be open for new technologies. Highlighting the need for political support, the federal research minister also announced a new funding initiative. Moreover, she disclosed another new and bi-partisan bioeconomy agenda: "From Biology to Innovation". The aim of this agenda is to build a new framework for bioeconomy and help integrate biological knowledge and biotechnological processes into society and everyday life. "Because such a huge economic shift can only be successful if we can integrate it into society and facilitate a societal shift!"

A truly 'Global' Summit

In light of these high-stake and complex goals, Karliczek was especially proud and delighted by the huge turn-out of the Summit: "This Summit truly deserves the title 'Global', as two thirds of the attendees are international, spanning more than 70 countries!"

Tangible improvements through bioeconomy

On Wednesday evening a welcome reception was already held at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research with approximately 350 invited guests. State Secretary Georg Schütte was the first to welcome the attendees of the Global Bioeconomy Summit: “It’s been two and a half years since the first summit – now is the perfect time to reflect on what has happened across the field of bioeconomy since then and what needs to happen moving forward.” The Co-chairs of the bioeconomy council, Joachim von Braun and Christine Lang joined this sentiment. Lang also thanked the federal research ministry for their support in realizing this summit. Moreover, she also previewed a Communiquè that will be published on Friday. “The communiquè will be an urgent call to action. We need an international dialogue to move forward in research and development, and we also need collaborations across borders in politics.” Von Braun added: “The success of bioeconomy needs to be measured in tangible outcomes: we can improve people’s life through bioeconomy.”

Local requirements and global needs

Representatives of the international advisory committee to the summit also underlined the global and local chance that a successful bioeconomy holds: “While the focus in Europe is on sustainability and renewable resources, Africa has a far greater need for an improved agriculture in order to create jobs and improve the economy”, said Ben Durham.

In addition, both Thailand’s Minister of Science and Technology, Suvit Maesincee, as well as Ecuadors Minister of Environment, Tarsicio Granzio, stressed the importance of bioeconomy for a balanced and sustainable future across economic sectors.

International attendees provide a global platform

After the welcoming words, attendees used the occasion for a first networking session over dinner and drinks. Another two packed conference days lay ahead: With six plenary lectures and 14 workshops the meeting offers a huge platform to discuss burning societal and political challenges through the lens of bioeconomy.

The summit was organized by the German Bioeconomy Council, with financial support of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and takes place on April 19 and 20 at the Deutsche Telekom's Representative Office in Berlin. With more than 800 participants, “Global Bioeconomy Summit 2018” is fully booked. For anyone unable to join the Summit in Berlin, there will be a live webcast provided on April 19 and 20 April. The webcast can be accessed for free here: www.gbs2018.com/stream.

jmr

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