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OSTP report sets the stage for nationwide biotech innovation

March 30, 2023
By: Jonathan Dillon

A new report compiled by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) outlines a whole-of-government approach to biotechnology and making it a national priority. The report lays out bold goals over two decades for biotech R&D, calling for an increase in agricultural productivity by 28% in the next decade and reducing food waste and loss by 50% by 2030.

The Administration is aiming for more efficient agriculture, the creation of more nutritious food, an increase in sustainability of the entire food system, and its resilience to climate change and other external problems. The report sets a series of “bold goals” centered on biotechnology and biomanufacturing R&D to further those aims and “highlight what could be possible with the power of biology. These goals are intended to provide a broad vision for the U.S. bioeconomy and what can be achieved with concerted action from industry, academia, nonprofits, the Federal Government, and other organizations.”

An Executive Order signed by the president in September stresses that use of biotechnology and biomanufacturing be ethical and responsible. The change will be centered on a foundation of equity and public good, consistent with an earlier Executive Order (Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government).

The report outlines new opportunities for biotech innovation in feedstock, aviation fuel, low-carbon-intensity plastics and chemicals, carbon removal tools, and more. Different sections of the report are authored by the US Department of Commerce, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, and National Science Foundation respectively. Each section features R&D needs in biotech specific to the departments.

While the report sets targets, it also notes that it is not meant to represent commitments by an agency or department to undertake specific activities, but says OSTP will be leading a plan to execute on R&D priorities and other actions identified in the report.

biotechnology, department of energy, agriculture, r&d