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Primer considers policy options that could grow bioeconomy

August 26, 2021

A new Congressional Research Service (CRS) primer provides an overview of the bioeconomy and offers some potential federal policy considerations for strengthening the competitiveness of the U.S. in the global bioeconomy. Although it does not cover individual sectors that contribute to the bioeconomy, it gives a broad, macro-level perspective that may aid in a general understanding of that segment of the economy. The report offers an overview of past federal and legislative bioeconomy initiatives, but notes that it is not a comprehensive compilation of those activities.

In looking at policy activities of the past, the report notes that in 2012 the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released a comprehensive vision for the U.S. bioeconomy, but no implementation plan was developed and progress remains unclear. If Congress was interested in further supporting the U.S. bioeconomy, CRS recommends Congress could establish a high-level coordination body tasked with implementing a strategy. Increases in federal investment in R&D and access to a skilled workforce are also noted as essential to advancing the bioeconomy and maintaining leadership in the field.

Whether or not Congress decides to pursue a new or strengthen existing efforts, the report points out that other countries are adopting policies and strategies to advance their bioeconomies and could challenge the U.S. leadership in that role. The full CRS report is available here.

bioeconomy, report