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As we entered in the 21st century, biotechnology reached its very advanced stage of development - the so called system biology approach or -omics technologies. This technology development allows researchers to study simultaneously the function of thousands of genes, the entire set of proteins and some low molecular weight metabolites in different living organisms and the interactions between them. As a result new scientific fields called -omics have emerged – genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and bioinformatics as a link between them (Fig. 1). This is also known as an integrated Systems Biology approach. That will allow us to understand not only the differences between microbes, plants, animals and humans, but also to use their potentials for the development of knowledge based bio-economy.

Fig. 1 Systems Biology Approach


When the European Commission adopted the 2002-2010 strategy for Europe in Life Science and Biotechnology, it was proposed that this sector would become “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge based bio-economy in the world capable of sustainable growth with more and better paid job opportunities”.
In 2002 the European Research Area Network (ERA NET) project was launched in order to overcome the fragmentation of the EU science and to avoid the duplication of research programs in the different EU member countries.
Bulgaria has joined the ERA NET Plant genomics in 2007.
Following The Lisbon Agenda the biological sciences will play a key role in helping the EU to develop a competitive knowledge.