GeneBEcon’s Debut Newsletter in NGTs Research for Potato and Microalgae and Highlighting Activities

GeneBEcon 1st newsletter
GeneBEcon 1st newsletter

GeneBEcon, funded by the European Commission, has launched its inaugural newsletter, showcasing groundbreaking advancements in New Genomic Techniques (NGTs) research for potato and microalgae. Through collaborative efforts, the GeneBEcon consortium partners have devised approaches to harness the potential of NGTs, revolutionizing sustainable practices in agriculture and biotechnology.

Key Highlights:
1. NGTS Research in Potato and Microalgae
2. GeneBEcon collaboration and approach to get benefit from NGTs
3. GeneBEcon’s 18-Month Highlights

GeneBEcon’s inaugural newsletter provides an overview of its efforts in New Genomic Techniques research and application. By harnessing the collective expertise of its consortium partners and pushing the boundaries of scientific innovation, GeneBEcon is poised to lead the way in shaping a more sustainable future for agriculture and biotechnology. Stay tuned for more updates and breakthroughs from GeneBEcon!

Read GeneBEcon’s 1st Newsletter here.

How should the products of New Genomic Techniques (NGTs) be regulated in the EU?

The European Union (EU) is at the forefront of discussions regarding the regulation of products derived from New Genomic Techniques (NGTs), such as CRISPR-Cas9. GeneBEcon through this policy brief aims to provide insights into key regulatory, technical, social, and ethical considerations relevant to the ongoing EU discourse. Drawing upon the comprehensive report published by GeneBEcon, this brief offers guidance for policymakers, developers, and stakeholders involved in shaping the regulatory landscape for NGT products within the EU.

This Policy Brief is based on an extensive report by GeneBEcon, read more here.

Read “GeneBEcon Policy Brief – New Genomic Techniques Policy Directions” here

Read the Press Release here.

GeneBEcon’s 2nd RRI Workshop on NGT Challenges

On February 21, 2024, in Brussels, GeneBEcon organized the 2nd Responsible Research & Innovation Workshop to address weaknesses and threats associated with New Genomic Techniques (NGTs), identified during the 1st RRI workshop in November. Participants collaborated to devise I-SMART* actions aimed at transforming challenges into strengths and opportunities.
The workshop, organized by GeneBEcon, centred on leveraging NGTs for agricultural and aquacultural solutions, aligned with the European Green Deal and Circular Economy Action Plan. The overarching objective was to employ Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) principles to craft an NGT Transition Action Plan, enhancing NGT desirability and value in agricultural and industrial sectors.
The workshop facilitated continued collaboration in defining NGT transition actions, aiming to address the identified weaknesses and threats while maximizing the potential of NGTs in fostering sustainable agricultural practices and supporting environmental goals outlined in the European Green Deal and Circular Economy Action Plan.

*I-SMART: I = Impact on social objective, Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Time-bound

GeneBEcon Midterm Symposium held in Brussels on 20th, 2024!

On February 20th, 2024, the GeneBEcon Midterm Symposium was held in Brussels, the seat of the current New Genomic Techniques (NGT) EU legislation discussion. With close to 80 attendees, comprising project partners, stakeholders from various agri-food value chains, and policymakers, the event marked a significant milestone in advancing the dialogue surrounding NGTs legislation and the transformative potential of sustainable agriculture.

Throughout the event, participants explored the project’s progress, with sessions dedicated to dissecting the implications of different regulatory options on biosafety data requirements and socio-economic dynamics. Case studies showcasing tangible applications of NGTs, including virus-resistant potatoes and microalgae for high-value compound production, underscored the potential of these technologies to drive innovation in the agri-food sector.

A highlight of the symposium was the interactive dialogue on consumer choice drivers, which provided a nuanced understanding of the factors influencing public perception and acceptance of NGTs. Amrit Nanda, Executive Manager of Plants for the Future and the event’s organiser, emphasised the importance of diverse stakeholder engagement in shaping impactful outcomes.

Get more information about the Midterm Symposium here

Read the Midterm Symposium Press Release here

GreenGenius – A Satellite Event for the EU Bioeconomy Changemakers festival

GreenGenius is a plant-focused science forum, organised as satellite event for the EU Bioeconomy Changemakers festival, with the aim to empower early-career researchers active in plant sciences to drive the change towards a sustainable bioeconomy.

This in-person event will be facilitated by Euroseeds, the voice of the European seed sector. Euroseeds is a consortium partner of the Horizon Europe project GeneBEcon, dedicated to holistically exploring the transformative potential of gene editing in plants for sustainable bioeconomy.

The event will be structured as an interactive forum and is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 12 March from 12:30 till 17:30 at BluePoint in Brussels, Belgium. The event will facilitate networking and meet & greet with diverse stakeholders and young professionals to explore the career possibilities in the bioeconomy.

Admission to the event is free of charge, however registration prior to the event date is required.

–          Read the full description of the GreenGenius event and agenda here.

–          Click on this weblink to register for the event.

In case of any questions, send an email to Dr. Nick Vangheluwe, Manager Research Policy and Project Coordination, Euroseeds, at

More information about the hybrid high-level event of the Bioeconomy Changemakers Festival (13 – 14 March 2024) organised by the Commission can be found on the R&I community platform.




BluePoint Brussels

Bd A. Reyers 80

1030 Brussels



12:30 -17:30

See you there!

#youthempowerment #EUbioeconomy #EUGreenDeal

EU Parliament adopts legislative proposal for NGTs

“This proposal provides more legal predictability and an enabling framework for category 1 NGT plants, such as the ones being developed in the project. With GeneBEcon, we can contribute scientific data to the upcoming discussions, particularly for the implementation regulation, which will be developed once the final legislative text is adopted both in the EU Council and Parliament.” says Dennis Eriksson, coordinator of GeneBEcon and Associate Professor at the Department of Plant Breeding, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

The European Parliament has voted in support of a proportionate regulatory approach to New Genomic Techniques (NGTs) by the EU Parliament’s Plenary session. The legislative proposal recognizes that some NGT plants are as safe as conventionally bred plants and will only be assessed based on their equivalence with the latter. The legislation recommends a verification process, ensuring a science-based approach where competent authorities assess the molecular characteristics of NGT plants. This process determines if they belong to Category 1 or Category 2 (NGT plants that do not meet equivalence criteria and must undergo an adapted risk assessment).

This new proposal will create an enabling regulatory environment for the use of NGT plants by agrifood value chain players and consumers. With examples like an NGT potato with improved starch quality and resistance to a virus, and a microalgae producing high-value compounds, the GeneBEcon consortium is assessing the impact of regulatory options on the feasibility, safe use, and business case for such products in the EU. This approach is essential to ensure the safe use of these products and the continued progress of scientific innovations.

GeneBEcon’s press release can be found here.

Get more information on the Legislative Proposal here.





Plant Breeding with New Genomic Techniques, which is the best option in the EU?

Image of GeneBEcon project feature potatos with the question Plant breeding with New Genomic Techniques, Which is the best option in the EU?

CORDIS has released an article featuring GeneBEcon’s scientific publication that has been published in Nature Plants. The first peer-reviewed scientific article prepared by partners of the GeneBEcon consortium, “Options for regulating new genomic techniques for plants in the European Union” describes a range of options for regulating plants derived from New Genomic Techniques (NGTs) in the European Union (EU) and assesses their respective impacts on biosafety data requirements, the likelihood of uptake and overall socio-economic implications.

The CORDIS article highlights the study’s aim to assist political decision-makers in forming a clearer picture of the available options for regulating NGTs for plants in EU in the current debate on a draft law by the Commission. – In the study, the GeneBEcon scientists concluded that the best option would be to focus on plant traits with sustainability benefits. This is “the best way to contribute to climate protection and the transition to climate neutrality and to immediately integrate sustainability into all food-related policy areas,” stated the study lead author, Prof. Dr Kai Purnhagen from the University of Bayreuth, Germany.

With the recent positive vote by the European Parliament on the Commission’s legislative proposal for New Genomic Techniques, GeneBEcon sees this as a significant step towards fostering innovation in plant breeding for a sustainable EU agriculture and food system.

GeneBEcon’s scientific article can be found here.

Get more information on the CORDIS article here




2nd RRI Workshop is coming soon in February 2024!

Image about the promotion of the 2nd Responsible Research & Innovation Workshop

GeneBEcon is hosting its second Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI) Workshop on February 21st, 2024 in Brussels, Belgium. The aim of this workshop is to actively engage the GeneBEcon Stakeholder Advisory Board, Ethics Board, EC, and GeneBEcon partners in a Co-Creation process to define a long-term NGT Transition Vision and Action Plan for increasing NGT-desirability and value in the agricultural and industrial sectors. The workshop is designed to co-create I-SMART actions for a New Genomic Techniques Transition Plan towards sustainable agriculture, food, and biotechnology.


Goals of the 2nd RRI Co-Creation Workshop:


1) Set the scene for Actions co-creation based on the results of the 1st RRI workshop considering how to best handle misinformation and disinformation.

2) Continue the co-creation process by co-defining actions for turning NGTs Weaknesses to Strengths and Threats to Opportunities with I-SMART* Actions for achieving sustainable agriculture and aquaculture and the industrial use of their products, which is our social objective.

*I-SMART: I = Impact on social objective, Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Time-bound.


The 2nd RRI workshop is being organized and facilitated by GeneBEcon partner, XPRO Consulting Limited, in close collaboration with GeneBEcon partner, EV ILVO.