The first session of the Bayer Life Talks took place on 9 September 2021. View the replay and event information below, and keep an eye out here for details of future sessions.
The United Nations estimates that the global population will reach ten billion over the next 30 years. Therefore, demand on food supplies and healthcare is expected to intensify – problems already exacerbated over the past 12 months by the impact of Covid-19.
The current pandemic has demonstrated the potential for new technologies to contribute to meeting such challenges. The virus’s genome was sequenced in a matter of weeks, while the mRNA vaccines that are now being rolled out across the world are also significant for future disease treatment. The speed of the scientific response is cause for optimism and indicative of a technological revolution – a ‘Bio Revolution’ – in the life sciences.
In healthcare, the Bio Revolution opens the way for new approaches to diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure and rheumatoid, with the hope of being able to develop curative therapies for certain diseases.
In agriculture, it aims to transform the cultivation of food while increasing yields and reducing its environmental footprint. DNA sequencing has deepened understanding of how biology works, and tools such as CRISPR, a technology that allows researchers to alter DNA sequences and modify gene function, are now being used to adapt crops to climate change, for instance.
In Bayer’s view, as societies, we should dare to ask: What if? What if diseases like Parkinson’s weren’t diseases we treat but cure? What if we could create carbon-positive agriculture?
In addition to offering the opportunity to fundamentally reassess how society will deal with some of the most pressing issues it is facing over the coming decades, the Bio Revolution could significantly contribute to fostering Europe’s competitiveness in new technologies.
In the end, new innovative solutions are needed if we are to reach the ambitious sustainability goals we have given ourselves while at the same time maintaining a competitive edge on the global scale.
Note: All session timings below are in Central European Summer Time (CEST)
10:00 – 10:10
10:10 – 11:15
Deputy Director General, DG SANTE, European Commission
Emeritus Professor of Intellectual Property Law, Cape Town University
Head, Public Affairs EU, Bayer AG
Executive Director, Slow Food Youth Network
Chairman, Forum Europe
For more information on any aspect of the Bayer Life Talks series, please contact us using the details below: