Europe's Pro-Innovation Agenda A Stark Contrast To The U.S.

Europe's Pro-Innovation Agenda A Stark Contrast To The U.S.

07.20.11 | By Kate Connors

We at PhRMA aren't the only ones who appreciate the value of jobs in the life sciences, including the biopharmaceutical research sector.
In fact, yesterday the European Commission (EC) announced an investment of nearly €7 billion "to kick-start innovation through research." Out of that amount, more than €650 million is intended for healthcare research.
According to a press release from the EC, the funding package is expected to create more than 170,000 jobs in the short-term, with nearly 450,000 jobs and nearly €80 billion in GDP growth over 15 years. The release also explicitly states that this investment is intended to make the European Union more competitive "with large, dynamic countries like the U.S. and China."
On one hand, it's gratifying to see a government body embrace the promise of the sector, both in terms of jobs and in terms of the breakthroughs that might follow. Ultimately, it is patients who benefit from this sort of commitment.
However, it's also a stark reminder that despite an avowed commitment to innovation in America, our policymakers have not taken similar steps at a national level to grow the life sciences sector on our soil.
Anyone who reads "The Catalyst" knows quite well about the threats facing our sector's jobs in the face of policies that undercut biopharmaceutical research companies.
But the EC announcement demonstrates the contrast between the two attitudes, with Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn affirming the EU's "commitment to putting research and innovation at the top of the political agenda for growth and jobs."
Imagine what could be accomplished - in biopharmaceuticals, in the life sciences, and in all innovative sectors - with that level of government support in the U.S.

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