President Biden signed an executive order Monday creating a National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing initiative aimed at domestically producing new technology invented in the United States. The White House contends the U.S. is too reliant on foreign materials and production and that other nations are positioning themselves to be leaders in the BioTech sector.
“Other countries, including and especially China, are aggressively investing in this sector, which poses risk to U.S. leadership and competitiveness unless we take the kinds of actions that we are with this executive order,” a senior administration official said.
So what exactly does this technology do? The White House said biomanufacturing can be used to make just about anything needed for daily life including plastics, fuels, and medicines. It can be used as an alternative to petro-chemical production.
“So we know that the global industry is on the cusp of a revolution powered by biotechnology,” a senior administration official said. “Analyses and facts suggest that before the end of the decade, engineering biology holds the potential to be used in manufacturing industries that account for more than one third of global output. That’s equivalent to almost $30 trillion in terms of value.”
With the executive order, the Biden administration aims to:
- Grow domestic biomanufacturing capacity.
- Support research and development.
- Expand training and education to develop a skilled workforce.
- Streamline the regulatory landscape in BioTech.
The administration also believes this will improve supply chains and lower prices, as more products will be made in America and not be as impacted by global supply chain disruptions. The SAO said it will be particularly impactful for biomanufacturing of pharmaceutical ingredients and biomining rare earth elements used to make cell phones, computers and cars.
The president will host a summit at the White House Wednesday where he will announce new investments and resources to be made available throughout the government.
The president will also give a speech at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston this afternoon highlighting his Cancer Moonshot plan. He will highlight, “the power of biotechnology and biomanufacturing to end cancer as we know it.”