The White House has launched a plan to support the biotechnology and biomanufacturing industries with the goal of keeping biotech jobs and manufacturing in the US.
In a Sept. 12 executive order, President Joe Biden directed several federal research agencies to submit reports to the White House detailing how biotechnology and biomanufacturing can address challenges in each agency’s particular sector.For example, the Department of Health and Human Services will look at the fields’ role in medical breakthroughs and health outcomes. Those reports will be used to create a plan for how the US can better support and invest in biotech.
“The United States has relied too heavily on foreign materials and bioproduction, and our past off-shoring of critical industries, including biotechnology, threatens our ability to access materials like important chemicals and active pharmaceutical ingredients,” the White House says in a fact sheet about the initiative.
The effort aims to grow manufacturing capacity in the US, expand the market for biobased products, and streamline the regulation of biotechnology products. At the same time, it pledges to direct more government research and development funds to biotechnology and improve access to federal bioscience data. It will also try to train a more diverse biotech workforce.
In a statement, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), an industry group, praised Biden’s initiative, especially efforts to streamline regulations, expand markets, and invest in workforce training.
“BIO has called on the administration to proactively advance biotechnology to foster resiliency and sustainability throughout the agricultural value chain and build a stronger, more resilient, and environmentally sustainable economy,” BIO president and CEO Michelle McMurry-Heath says. “This executive order will help the US and the world meet our environmental and public health goals.”