ASBMB statement on Biden's executive order to advance biotechnology and biomanufacturing

Sept. 13, 2022

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology applauds President Joe Biden for prioritizing biotechnology research and development as outlined in his executive order signed earlier this week that will launch a National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative. This initiative intends to bolster and coordinate federal investment in key research and development areas of biotechnology and biomanufacturing in order to tackle the most pressing science-related challenges of the 21st century, including food security and the climate crisis.   

Notably, Biden’s executive order emphasizes the need to “foster a biological data ecosystem”; “train and supporting a diverse, skilled workforce and a next generation of leaders from diverse groups”; and “engage the international community to enhance biotechnology R&D cooperation.” These priorities strongly align with recommendations the ASBMB made to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in July. We are encouraged and enthused that the administration is pushing several of these recommendations forward.  

The federal agencies that will be included in the initiative are: the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Agriculture. Each agency is required to submit reports on biotechnology and biomanufacturing to further societal goals related to health, climate change and energy, food and agricultural innovation, resilient supply chains and cross-cutting scientific advances.   

Efforts like this are vital not only to propel federal R&D forward, but also to engage scientific stakeholders and important actors of the research ecosystem. We are eager to see initiatives like this kickstart collaboration across federal agencies and across the U.S. research enterprise.