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As one of the Key Enabling Technologies (KET) to be promoted in the context of Horizon 2020, biotechnology is expected to provide a vast variety of new applications based on the knowledge of living systems.

The aim of R&I funding in this area is the development of innovative, competitive, sustainable and safe industrial products and processes contributing to innovation in different sectors such as agriculture and forestry, food production, energy, chemistry, health and the knowledge-based bioeconomy.

Apart from technical solutions, the focus will also be on accompanying aspects such as health and safety assessment, the economic and environmental impact of use of the technology and the management aspects of the overall and specific risks in the deployment of biotechnology

In the 7th Framework Programme the area Biotechnology was part of the theme "Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology", also called "Knowledge Based Bio-economy" (KBBE) , in the Specific Programme "Cooperation".