The European Biotechnology Congress 2011 was held in Istanbul between the 28th of September and the 1st of October 2011. The Congress was organised by the European Biotechnology Thematic Network Association (EBTNA) in conjunction with the Turkish Medical Genetics Association and under the aegis of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey. The Congress attracted scientists not only from Europe but from across the globe. The main topics covered by the congress were: Medical Genetics, Plant Biotechnology, Industrial Biotechnology, Animal Biotechnology, Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cells, Environmental Biotechnology, Biotechnologies in Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Nanobiotechnology, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Assisted Reproductive Methods in Biotechnology, Education and Biotechnology. The application of systems biology approaches to biotechnology emerged as one of the main themes in many sections.