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Bullet policy, statements · Sep 14, 2021

Science Groups Urge Lawmakers to Pass Bioeconomy R&D Legislation

A group of scientific organizations and institutions, including AIBS, have called on congressional leadership to include the Bioeconomy Research and Development Act of 2021 (H.R. 4521/S. 1418) in a larger competitiveness package being advanced by lawmakers to bolster the U.S. research enterprise.

The letter reads, in part: “The rapid acceleration of discovery demonstrates a need for better cross-agency coordination, greater technology needs, and data sharing infrastructure. The Bioeconomy Research and Development Act of 2021 will create a national initiative to advance engineering biology and strengthen the ability to translate scientific discoveries into tools, technologies, and therapies that will benefit Americans, our economy, and the world at large. This bipartisan legislation will facilitate collaboration, cross-agency funding, database curation, and the development of novel tools to accelerate translational research.”

If enacted the bill would:

  • Establish an initiative through the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to advance research and development, advance biomanufacturing, develop the future bioeconomy workforce, and support research in ethical, legal, environmental, safety, security, and societal issues;
  • Direct the National Academies to review ethical, legal, environmental, safety, security, and societal issues related to engineering biology; and
  • Direct OSTP to lead an interagency coordination committee and define roles of participating agencies.

The bill was included in the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (S. 1260) passed by the Senate earlier this year. The community letter urges its inclusion in the final research competitiveness package negotiated by the conference committee.

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