Biden signs directive to launch biotech, bio-manufacturing initiative
According to the White House, this order is intended to contribute to a "sustainable, safe, and secure American bioeconomy."
The White House published a statement on Monday announcing the signing of an executive order to launch a national biotechnology and biomanufacturing initiative by US President Joe Biden.
"The US has relied too heavily on foreign materials and bioproduction, and our past off-shoring of critical industries, including biotechnology, threatens our ability to access materials like important chemicals and active pharmaceutical ingredients," the White House said in a press release.
The initiative is intended to realize the potential of biology that "can make almost anything that we use in our day-to-day lives, from medicines to fuels to plastics, and continue to drive US innovation into economic and societal success," the release added.
The initiative is intended to accelerate biotechnology innovation and grow the US bio-economy across multiple sectors, including health, agriculture, and energy. It will also support advances in biomanufacturing to create strong domestic supply chains.
The White House will host a summit on the initiative on Wednesday, during which cabinet agencies will announce new investments and resources.
This executive order comes as the latest in a series of decrees related to technological and scientific innovation.
As technological innovation constitutes the driving force of US military hegemony, the White House has recently signed several decrees pertaining to the matter in light of growing tensions with China and Russia.
The most prominent one is undoubtedly the CHIPS act which commits a total of $280bn to hi-tech manufacturing and research and is designed to increase the US’s competitiveness with China.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington said Beijing "firmly opposed" the bill as it strikes as a "Cold War mentality."
Due to the global microchip shortage, the US economy lost last year $240 billion, and a war over Taiwan would be even more catastrophic for the US due to its reliance on one single supplier, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).
The US crackdown on the sale of technology to China has already begun to have an impact, with the US chip designer Nvidia disclosing last week that it had been told by US officials to stop exporting two top computing chips for artificial intelligence work to China.
The latest updates reveal that selected companies that receive funding from the initiative are prohibited from building facilities in China.