Honorable Rector Sorin Cimpeanu, Honorable Education Minister Dumitru, His Excellency Ambassador Saint-Paul, colleagues from the diplomatic corps, esteemed guests, teachers and students,
It is my pleasure to be here today to congratulate the Faculty of Biotechnology on its 20th anniversary and to celebrate the progress and advances Romania has achieved in agriculture through biotechnology.
Biotechnology plays a key-role in addressing many of the constraints of our lives over time, including food security. Through biotechnology, we have developed tools to combat pests and weeds, use available resources in a more efficient way, increase yields and nutritional content, and reduce the impact of farming on the environment.
As climate change and market developments impact everyone on the planet, applying innovative technologies in agriculture may be one of the most effective means of addressing these changes.
Innovation in biotechnology in the United States has made crucial contributions to the development of the agricultural sector and increased international trade. Innovation in the United States results from collaboration across industries, academia, and government. These institutions work together to deliver solutions to complex problems.
With the increase in innovation, spending for agricultural research has grown rapidly in the United States and worldwide. Global private sector investment in agricultural research grew from $5.6 billion in 1994 to $11 billion in 2010. The United States accounts for half of private R&D in agriculture worldwide. Crop improvement and animal genetic sectors account for most of the spending, making biotechnology one of the most researched and developed components of the agricultural input areas.
This openness to innovation is important, as it provides producers a choice in selecting the agricultural practices and technologies that offer them the most benefits, both economic and agronomic. This university and the Faculty of Biotechnology have played large roles in Romania’s successes in this field.
One of the U.S. Embassy’s priorities is to promote prosperity between the United States and Romania through an increased flow of goods and services as well as through increased investment.
Innovation is a key element in promoting economic prosperity between our countries. Innovative ideas discovered through research can have commercial applications. Entrepreneurs can take these new applications and discoveries and create start-up companies, driving economic growth and job creation. This stands true across fields, including agriculture.
The U.S. Embassy has recently started to promote the benefits of innovation and technology transfer in stimulating economic growth. Starting tomorrow, the U.S. Embassy along with the Israeli and the Dutch Embassies will co-sponsor a three-day conference on innovation here in Bucharest and Cluj. At the conference, we will explore the opportunities and challenges that exist in Romania, and discuss ideas to help encourage Romanian scientists and researchers to further develop their ideas.
Romania has a positive economic outlook.
I have seen the potential that the universities and the youth in Romania hold and I know that they will play key roles in driving Romania’s future growth. Just three months ago the Ambassador visited this same auditorium with the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse and five U.S. State Agriculture Commissioners.
They had a question and answer session with students here, and the students’ insight and questions impressed the entire delegation. All their questions and comments reflected a strong interest in agriculture and rural communities, solid knowledge about the global market environment, and commitment to pursue further paths for broadening their knowledge.
These students showed a commitment and passion for Romania. I believe the young and skillful generation does have power in making Romania an attractive place for investment. An environment that encourages the transfer of knowledge through the collaboration between government, academia and the private sector will provide many opportunities for innovative careers in agriculture and research.
I am confident that all you students and professors of this University will use your talents, strengths, and passions to make a valuable contribution to Romanian agriculture.
In closing, I would like to congratulate everyone who has played a role in this 20-year achievement. You have displayed a commitment to science as a foundation to agriculture and made remarkable contributions to advance technology. Thank you, and good luck with this academic year!