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Biden-⁠Harris administration announces new bold goals and priorities to advance American biotechnology and biomanufacturing

March 23, 2023

All of the good news is coming out of the USA this week, if you pardon the reference to GOOD Meat's 'No Questions' letter from the Food and Drug Administration. Yesterday (22 March 2023), the US Biden-Harris Administration announced new bold goals and priorities that will catalyze action inside and outside of government to advance American biotechnology and biomanufacturing.

Why is this good news for alternative proteins? It lays out the imperative of advancing alternative proteins as a critical component of the bio-economy--with bold goals for investments in R&D to improve sustainability and strengthen food security.

Among the highlights are:

1. Research the structural design and food architecture of alternative protein (e.g., plant-based, fermentation-derived, and cell-cultured) products, including how plant and microbial materials compare to animal-based products.

2. Build sufficient shared pilot facilities, intermediate-scale infrastructure, and an ecosystem of biomanufacturing facilities close to feedstocks and workforce development opportunities, as well as standardized measurement systems and life cycle analyses for industry use.

3. New Centers of Excellence that would innovate new products and processes, train the next-generation workforce, and enable information exchange between academia and the private sector through Industry Advisory Boards.

In September 2022, President Biden signed an Executive Order (EO) to advance biotechnology and biomanufacturing innovation for a sustainable, safe, and secure American bioeconomy. Yesterday's announcements in response to the President’s EO will help strengthen America’s bioeconomy, rebuild its supply chains at home, and support the nation’s innovation ecosystem.

Biomanufacturing – or the use of biological systems to produce goods and services at commercial scale – has the potential to drive new sustainable alternatives across industries, including plastics, fuels, and medicines. These innovations can unlock new solutions in health, climate change, energy, food security, agriculture, supply chain resilience, and national and economic security.

Yesterday's White House announcements included:

Harnessing biotechnology and biomanufacturing R&D to further societal goals: The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is releasing a new report outlining a vision for what is possible with the power of biotechnology and biomanufacturing, and R&D needs to achieve this ambitious vision. The President’s EO called on federal departments and agencies to assess the potential for biotechnology and biomanufacturing R&D to further five societal goals: climate change solutions, food and agricultural innovation, supply chain resilience, human health, and crosscutting advances. The report being released yesterday included individual sections authored by the Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Science Foundation, in consultation with other agencies and departments, that are responsive to the President’s EO. The bold goals and R&D needs outlined in this report serve as a guide for public and private sector efforts to harness the full potential and power of biotechnology and biomanufacturing to develop innovative solutions in different sectors, create jobs at home, build stronger supply chains, lower costs for families, and achieve our climate goals. OSTP will now lead the development of an implementation plan to address the R&D needs outlined in this report.

Establishing biomanufacturing priorities for the Department of Defense (DoD): As part of the National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative, DoD announced in September an investment of US$1.2 billion in bioindustrial domestic manufacturing infrastructure to catalyze the establishment of a domestic bioindustrial manufacturing base accessible to US innovators. The he Department of Defense is releasing its Biomanufacturing Strategy to guide these investments, and its broader efforts in this critical technology field. This strategy, which will guide research efforts and collaboration with the private sector and allies, sets three key priorities: establishing the customers within DoD that stand to benefit from early-stage innovations, advancing biomanufacturing capabilities through innovation, and mapping the biomanufacturing ecosystem and tracking metrics that support future efforts. In support of the strategy, DoD is issuing a formal request for information on biomanufactured products and process capabilities that could help address defense needs and whose development and commercialization could be addressed by DoD investment.

Assessing the economic value of the nation’s bioeconomy: The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis is releasing a new report called for in the President’s E.O. that assesses the feasibility of measuring the economic contributions of the country’s bioeconomy. The report also includes an assessment of what is needed to better, more accurately measure these contributions.

Other deliverables from the Executive Order are in development, including: a plan to expand training and education opportunities for the biotechnology and biomanufacturing workforce, a report on data needs for the bioeconomy, a national strategy for expanding domestic biomanufacturing capacity, actions to improve biotechnology regulation clarity and efficiency, and a plan for strengthening and innovating biosafety and biosecurity for the bioeconomy.

You can read the full report here

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

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