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On 15 October, roughly twenty people participated in a conference on the applications of biotechnology in the agrifood sector, organized by the School of Agrifood and Forestry Science and Engineering (ETSEA) of University of Lleida (UdL) and Agrotecnio, with collaboration form the Catalan Ministry of Agriculture, ACCIÓ, Biocat –represented by Head of Entrepreneurship and Business Growth Carlos Lurigados– and companies like Semillas Fitó, Selección Batallé SA, Mahou­San Miguel and Indulleida.

The conference aimed to raise awareness of ways biotechnology can serve the agrifood sector as a transversal facilitating technology, opening the doors to new challenges in developing a more sustainable, competitive agriculture and agrifood industry.

The event emphasized the idea that biotechnology can go beyond genetically modified crops to be used in a wide range of areas, like livestock and industry. Researchers from the UdL gave examples, explaining some of their cutting-edge research for which they are gaining recognition in areas like boosting production of active compounds from plants, improving meat quality, selecting pig stocks and new food-processing methods.

The program featured talks on plant, animal, food and industrial biotechnology, followed by a panel discussion with all of the speakers and a closing session.

Participants included university students, professors and representatives from the government and companies that collaborated on the conference. This triangle is important. “We want to get all the stakeholders together to make a biotechnology revolution in the agrifood sector possible,” explained Pedro Elez, the ETSEA professor who coordinated the event.

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