PCAST Releases Report on Strengthening Biomanufacturing to Advance the Bioeconomy
President’s Council of Advisors recommends actions to secure America’s future leadership in the expanding global bioeconomy
The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is recommending actions for maintaining United States competitiveness in the global bioeconomy. Released today, a new report recommends actions to promote the growth of the U.S. bioeconomy in three key areas: boosting manufacturing capacity, addressing regulatory uncertainty, and updating our national strategy to meet the demands of the 21st century.
“Biomanufacturing is integral to solutions for many of our national and global challenges, including resource utilization, climate change, economic stability, environmental justice, and improved health,” said Frances Arnold, PCAST co-chair. “This PCAST report will help set in motion actions that accelerate progress in developing the bioeconomy.”
The Biden-Harris Administration’s Executive Order 14081, Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe, and Secure American Bioeconomy, and the CHIPS and Science Act, help position the United States to maintain its leadership in biomanufacturing by bolstering infrastructure for the bioeconomy, supporting a diverse domestic workforce, and catalyzing the country’s scientific and technological pursuits. PCAST’s recommendations complement these efforts and are intended to assist the federal government in navigating key challenges to growing the bioeconomy.
Specifically, the report recommends that agencies across the government work to establish biomanufacturing infrastructure hubs with the resources and authorities necessary to support new bioproducts moving from prototype to pilot scale production. The relevant agencies should also work together to build a network from new and existing biomanufacturing infrastructure hubs to support further development of biomanufacturing processes and support programs across the spectrum of postsecondary training opportunities in this area.
To address regulatory uncertainty that novel, cross-cutting bioproducts face, PCAST recommends that regulatory agencies create both more clear and transparent review and approval processes. PCAST further recommends establishing a cross-agency rapid response team of regulatory experts that would vet these cross-cutting products, helping those that are safe and potentially transformative reach the market more rapidly.
Finally, PCAST believes that a new, data-based, and adaptive national strategy is urgently needed to chart a course for the U.S. bioeconomy for the next decade. This strategy should consider the long-term economic, environmental, and societal benefits and liabilities of biotechnology, as well as the national security implications and ethical and legal issues.
To view a full copy of the PCAST report please click here.
To view PCAST’s Letter to the President and the Executive Summary of the report please click here.