Biotechnology the Netherlands
Promising new developments in the Netherlands
Only a few years ago, the Netherlands was one of the leading countries in European biotechnology. Nowadays it occupies seventh place in the European ranking because biotechnology has grown more quickly in other countries. However, The Netherlands has a relatively positive climate for biotechnology. In a recent policy paper the Dutch cabinet expressed the intention to 'stimulate the development of biotechnology in a considered way'. Although the debate on biotechnology is growing, public opinion is favourable to the technology. Combined with a broad scientific knowledge base this result is a good foundation for new growth in Dutch biotechnology. Several organisations are taking action to stimulate further growth.
The Netherlands has a good public scientific base in medical and healthcare biotechnology. Eight Dutch universities are involved in research in this area. These and other universities are also conducting a vast amount of research in related areas like molecular cell biology, virology, immunology and pharmacology.
However, the number of commercial pharmaceutical companies remains limited. In recent years, though, the numbers of Dutch biotechnological companies in healthcare and pharmaceuticals has started to grow and there are now about 50. Many started recently in areas such as genetherapy, the development of platform technologies, diagnostics, sequential analysis and the production of monoclonal antibodies.
Stimulated by the subsidies provided by the Dutch government, plant bio(techno)logical and other agricultural research has grown in every field. The main focus for this research is the Wageningen University and Research Centre, especially in genomics research. In addition, there are about 30 Dutch branches of large life sciences companies involved in crop improvement. Research for these smaller companies is usually done by specialised institutes and companies.
The development and application of biotechnology in animal breeding is relatively small in The Netherlands compared to plant biotechnology. Two research networks and two research schools are working on food biotechnology in The Netherlands. In addition, large food and food ingredients companies are conducting research in food biotechnology with industry and the scientific community work together.
Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention - MICCAI 2001: 4th International Conference Utrecht, The Netherlands, October 14-17, 2001. Proceedings (Lecture Notes in Computer Science)