US president issues executive order on advancing biotechnology
The US president has issued an executive order on advancing biotechnology and biomanufacturing innovation for a sustainable, safe, and secure American bioeconomy. The order sets out a National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative, outlining a series of policies to advance biotechnology and biomanufacturing towards innovative solutions in health, climate change, energy, food security, agriculture, supply chain resilience, and national and economic security. These policies are related to issues such as harnessing research and development, building a vibrant domestic biomanufacturing ecosystem, and expanding training and education opportunities in biotechnology and biomanufacturing. The order further envisions the establishment of a Data for the Bioeconomy Initiative to facilitate access to biological data, and a Biosafety and Biosecurity Innovation Initiative to reduce biological risks associated with advances in biotech, biomanufacturing, and the bioeconomy. Governance issues are also tackled in the order, which notes the need to improve the clarity and efficiency of the regulatory process for biotech products. Another important element relates to assessing threats to the US bioeconomy: the Director of National Intelligence is tasked with leading an assessment of ongoing, emerging, and future threats to US national security from foreign adversaries.