Europe took a big step toward coordinating the long-term development of plant science research today (June 24) with the launch in Brussels of a "vision paper" prepared by the new Technology Platform on Plant Genomics and Biotechnology, which is being supported by the European Commission.

The document, "Plants for the future: a European vision for plant biotechnology towards 2025," has been developed by leading representatives from the research community, the food and biotech industry, the farming community, and consumer organizations.

It addresses three key challenges: "Securing a high-quality, safe, and diverse food supply through sustainable agriculture; replacing fossil-fuel based non-renewable products with bio-products from renewable plant resources; and maintaining the competitiveness of European agri-food industries."

Chris Lamb, director of the John Innes Centre in the United Kingdom, told The Scientist that the vision paper and the work of the technology platform will be vital to ensure that...

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