ABIC Foundation




October, 23 2003

Welcome to ABIC 2004 in Cologne

As minister for economy of the State of Northrhine-Westfalia, I would like to invite you to Cologne, Germany for the year 2004 to participate in ABIC2004 and to bring your expertise in Agricultural Biotechnology to Europe.

I am proud and very pleased that Cologne has been chosen by the ABIC Foundation as the place to continue the tradition initiated 1996 in Saskatoon, Canada to promote Agricultural Biotechnology by an exchange of ideas between academic, industrial and political leaders.

Dr. Peter Welters, Chief Executive Officer of Phytowelt GmbH, and GreenTec GmbH has been appointed as Chairman and coordinator for this event because of his expertise and worldwide network with a focus on Canada and Europe providing an excellent basis for the success of ABIC 2004.

Agricultural Biotechnology is acknowledged by the European Union as a great opportunity to promote economic growth, employment and wealth. Research in this area has always been and is of great importance in Northrhine-Westfalia. Significant contributions in Research & Development came from the Max-Planck-Institute for Breeding Research, Cologne, the Helmholtz Research Center in Jülich, the Agricultural University of Bonn and the Fraunhofer Institute in Aachen.

On April 17, 2001 new guidelines on field trials for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were introduced by the European Union, promising a fresh impetus to Agricultural Biotechnology after implementation in national regulations.

Industrial partners located in Northrhine-Westfalia such as biotechnical, breeding and phytosanitary companies will be present on ABIC2004 in Cologne to discuss and start cooperation, innovative projects, and to exchange knowledge and expertise for a steady and safe progress for mutual benefit. By a sound discussion with the general public, ABIC2004 will help to spread a better understanding and acceptance of Agricultural Biotechnology for worldwide marketing opportunities.

I am looking forward to seeing all of you in Cologne to learn about the achievements and progress made possible by you in the coming two years.

     Harald Schartau

Minister of Economic Affairs and Labour Nordrhein-Westfalen



Organizer of ABIC 2004 in Cologne more