Starting in January next year, Jeff A. Cole, longtime Vice-President and member of the Scientific Board of the Centre of the Region Haná for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research (CRH), will take the leadership of the European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB). This was decided at the Executive Board meeting, which was held in Barcelona at the end of January, attended by CRH Director Ivo Frébort.
Professor Emeritus of Microbiology at University of Birmingham, Jeff A. Cole was elected unanimously to become the EFB President. He will replace the Swedish microbiologist Mathias Uhlén, who has led the non-profit organization since 2015.
“I believe that the in Olomouc well-known Jeff Cole will be a great president and will continue to develop EFB's activities. One of the priorities is to engage in a professional debate on the update of European legislation on new genomic techniques. Existing regulations do not reflect current rapid technological advances, restrain research, and can significantly harm European society, agriculture and the environment,” said Frébort, who will represent EFB in Brussels at the European Commission meeting in February and further participate in the elaboration of the expert opinion within a survey commissioned by Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety - DG SANTE.
In addition to the election of the President, a change in the organizational structure was on the agenda of the Executive Board meeting. From 2021, the current five departments will be replaced by six, perhaps seven divisions, from which the Executive Board expects more effective management and better coordination of activities. “One of the new features is the creation of a plant, food and agricultural biotechnology division and the possible establishment of a medical biotechnology division. Members of the Executive Board Meeting elected nomination committees to suggest suitable candidates for heads of divisions. The first meeting of the new divisions will take place at the occasion of the European Congress on Biotechnology in Maastricht in June,” said Michaela Holecová from the Czech Regional Brach Office, which is based in CRH.
Executive Board of the EFB with a representative of CRH´s International Advisory Panel Roland Wohlgemuth among its members, also approved EFB's last year's budget report and 2020 budget. Another important task was the preparation of scientific programme of the Maastricht congress and deciding that the 2022 congress will take place in Toulouse, France.
The European Federation of Biotechnology is a non-profit organization that brings together national biotechnology associations, learned societies, scientific institutes, universities, biotechnology companies and individual biotechnologists. It has 80 institutional members from across Europe and over 30,000 personal members. Its main purpose is to promote and support the development of biotechnology in Europe.