Building our Biofuture: Policy issues and opportunities for next generation biotechnologies

Global crises like climate change are driving the need for transformative solutions to catalyse sustainability transitions and enable resilience. Emerging technologies, like next generation biotechnologies, are already fundamentally reshaping our societies and will thus play a key role in delivering these much-needed transformations. 

Countries around the world are rapidly ramping up their biotechnology capabilities. Synthetic biology along with gene editing, gene drives and biomanufacturing - promise a revolution across many sectors and offers solutions to global and local societal challenges. However, serious policy challenges remain: balancing open science with biosecurity, building resilient value chains, scaling of biotechnology innovations and bridging biotechnology divides across the globe. 

In the margins of the OECD Science and Technology Policy Ministerial Meeting, the Global Forum on Technology will convene a day-long event to deep dive into the promise of next generation biotechnologies, the associated policy challenges and the opportunities to address them. Challenge-based panels will put biotechnologies into their application context, bringing to light the value added of bio-based innovations and their policy issues. 

The Global Forum on Technology (GFTech) has been created as a space for global dialogue on the directions of technology governance and how to best steer technology towards desirable socio-economic impacts. This event will deep dive into issues of global concern: food security and soil health, health innovation resilience, sustainable production and international cooperation in a time of geopolitical tensions. 

By exploring how promising biotechnologies will contribute to tackling these challenges, this event will incorporate a forward-look on what is on the horizon for the next 10 years, and also open up broader policy questions about responsible innovation in next generation biotechnologies. 

Pre-Ministerial event

OECD Science and Technology Policy Ministerial Meeting

In the face of mounting global challenges, of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution, as well as the global threats from emerging infectious diseases, food, water, and energy insecurity and rising social inequalities, governments must be more ambitious and act with greater urgency in their research and innovation policies. The OECD, through the work led by the Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy (CSTP) is formulating a new agenda for transformative science, technology and innovation policies to help meet the challenges. 

This event, hosted by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research of France, will convene ministers and high-level representatives from OECD member countries, invited non-members, and international organizations on April 23-24, 2024, at the OECD Headquarters in Paris. This meeting is a pivotal opportunity to endorse a transformative science, technology, and innovation policy agenda focused on sustainability transitions. Discussions will also address embedding shared values in the governance of science and emerging technologies, reaffirming the necessity for international cooperation to address global challenges.


About the Global Forum on Technology (GFTech)

Announced at the December 2022 OECD Digital Economy Ministerial meeting, the OECD Global Forum on Technology is a venue for regular in-depth dialogue to foresee and get ahead of long-term opportunities and risks presented by technology. It facilitates inclusive, multi-stakeholder and values-based discussions on specific technology policy topics, responding to gaps in existing fora.

CONTACT US

Please send your questions to gftech@oecd.org