Geoffrey Pot (Takeda) appointed President of bio.be/essenscia
Support new innovations in biotechnology and stimulate their progression into industrial production. That was the message from bio.be/essenscia, the Belgian federation of companies active in life sciences and biotechnologies, when it held its annual event on September 24th 2019 in Brussels. The federation took the opportunity to introduce its new president, Geoffrey Pot, from Takeda.
For many years, our quality of life has been improving, thanks to scientific knowledge and the innovative power of biotechnologies, particularly in health, agriculture and sustainable development. Innovations in plant breeding, cell and gene therapy, and biobased polymers, can help us meet the challenges we face today, such as meeting the food needs of the growing world population, treating diseases like cancer and making the successful transition to a bioeconomy that manages natural resources in a sustainable way.
Innovation or precautionary principle?
Despite the clear benefits to society and strong scientific basis, technological improvements in biotechnology are often met with prejudice, misunderstanding and fear. That includes our own country, where Belgian biotechnology is globally recognised as being at the forefront of research and industrial development. At its annual event ‘Evidence-based biotechnologies: the future is in (y)our hands’, bio.be/essenscia highlighted the pioneering role of Belgian biotech in the development of new technologies and therapies. Only strong support for these innovations will bring the many economic opportunities to fruition.
“We are the birthplace of many advanced technologies, but too often, legal hurdles prevent us from continuing to develop, produce and apply these advancements in Belgium.”
Frédéric Druck, General Secretary of bio.be/essenscia
Frédéric Druck, General Secretary of bio.be/essenscia: “In Belgium and in Europe, we are still too cautious to focus on innovation. We are the birthplace of many advanced technologies, but too often, legal hurdles prevent us from continuing to develop, produce and apply these advancements in Belgium. Under strictly controlled conditions, genetic modification is a revolutionary method to make plants more resistant to extreme climatic conditions or diseases, making agriculture less vulnerable. Gene and cell therapy allow us to not only address the symptoms, but successfully cure certain diseases. The specific properties of biobased plastics allow them to be applied in sustainable ways in agriculture and health care.”
Geoffrey Pot, new President of bio.be/essenscia
bio.be/essenscia also announced the appointment of its new President, Geoffrey Pot, Vice President Operations at Takeda, a biotechnology company. He succeeds Tineke Van hooland, who put her heart and soul into promoting the strengths of Belgian biotechnology in Belgium and abroad for the past three and a half years. Geoffrey Pot is an expert in regulation, research and development, industrial production as well as in innovation projects involving universities and companies. He is also specialized in international management and digital transformation.
“We already have a clear request for policymakers to stimulate innovation and implement a framework policy that offers maximum support to industrial production and focuses on quality talent training.”
Geoffrey Pot, President of bio.be/essenscia
Geoffrey Pot, President of bio.be/essenscia: “First of all, I would like to thank my predecessor, Tineke Van hooland, for the enthusiasm she brought to her presidency. Belgium excels in biotechnology. It is both an honour and a great responsibility to ensure the development of a growth sector with 300 companies and 35,000 quality jobs. We want to ensure development is based on constructive consultation and a solution-oriented approach, in dialogue with government, institutions, education, and the relevant unions. We already have a clear request for policymakers to stimulate innovation and implement a framework policy that offers maximum support to industrial production and focuses on quality talent training.”
bio.be/essenscia’s annual event is part of the European Biotech Week, which brings together more than 140 biotechnology initiatives and events across Europe. As co-organizer, bio.be/essenscia also supports the European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology and the Annual Bioeconomy, an initiative of EuropaBio, the European sectoral federation. It is the largest European Congress of Biotechnology and Bioeconomy. This year, the event takes place in our capital from 30 September 30th to October 2nd 2019. 500 experts, entrepreneurs and policymakers from nearly 30 countries gather at this international forum to help shape the future of industrial biotechnology.