Biotech Britain: Introduction

Biotechnology is the use of biological systems and living organisms, or their derivatives, to make or modify products or processes. While its use is commonly understood to refer to genetic engineering, the use of biotechnology currently has four main fields of application: medicine and healthcare, agriculture and food production, industrial (for example, enzymes as catalysts) and the environment.

This round-table discussion, sponsored jointly by the New Statesman and Pfizer, invited participants to examine the state of the biotechnology industry in this country. Participants talk about their experiences of working as scientists and business managers. They attempt to identify the financial conditions and the sort of management that we need to build on the status that the industry has achieved in Europe, so that it can compete worldwide.

This and the other reports in the long-running series are available from the website: www.policyforum.co.uk. Your comments are welcome.