Innovation, ethics and policy for bioeconomy
Castle addresses International Forum on Genomics and Innovation
On 27 November 2013, Professor David Castle addressed the delegation of the International Forum on Genomics and Innovation 2013 in Mexico City.
Speaking on the topic of “Innovation, ethics and policy for Bioeconomy”, Prof Castle discussed the need to look at both what the bioeconomy currently stands for, as in the real economic activity that is based on life science and biotechnology, as well as what it can be, in terms of new areas of the economy and transforming existing areas toward bio-based and sustainable production of materials, energy, food, drugs and fibre. Understanding the present and future aspects of the bioeconomy is particularly necessary when identifying and justifying ethical implications of bioeconomic activity.
The bioeconomy offers the opportunity for economic renewal and growth, and combined with the urgent need for sustainable solutions to key socio-economic challenges, there is an underlying moral imperative to encouraging bioeconomic activity. As such, policy processes that promote growth of the bioeconomy must conjoin accurate portrayals of the potential for new or renewed economic activity with justifiable objectives.
Such deliberate action to expand the bioeconomy as a way of fulfilling an obligation to us and to the planet implies that the means of achieving these objectives are within our reach. Ultimately, this comes down to the skills agenda and an ethical obligation to properly re-skill and up-skill people and societies expected to transition towards the bioeconomy. Defending an innovation imperative, and promoting the skills agenda, are two critical areas of the bioeconomy in which descriptions of, and aspiration for, the bioeconomy must cohere.
The International Forum took place on 25 – 27 November 2013 and was a joint effort between Global Biotech Consulting Group, Genomica y Bioeconomia and the Human Genome Organization (Hugo). It brought together stakeholders to seek new ideas, interactions and initiatives to help integrate the power of genomics into economic intensive sectors.