• Moonshots for the 21st-Century Bioeconomy

    Publication Date: December 2022

    In response to the Bioeconomy Executive Order, EBRC envisions moonshots for achievements in engineering biology across five sectors, highlighting the promise and potential of biotechnology. We also link to our interactive EBRC roadmaps, which provide more expansive visions of the innovations that are possible through engineering biology research and application.

  • Standards and Metrics to Accelerate the Global Bioeconomy

    Publication Date: December 2022

    Common language, measurements, and widely adopted standards are critical for many activities within the bioeconomy. We identify challenges, next steps, and recommendations for establishing standards and metrics to promote a secure and robust bioeconomy.

  • Regulatory Clarity, Communication, and Nimbleness

    Publication Date: December 2022

    The United States is at the forefront of the biotechnology revolution, and its regulatory agencies are and will continue to be tasked with establishing and enforcing rules and regulations that ensure the commercialization of biotechnologies that are viable and economically-sound solutions and do not present unacceptable risk. Herein articulate select areas of uncertainty and concern that have caused challenges in the development of biotechnologies.

  • Platform Vulnerabilities and Security in the Bioeconomy

    Publication Date: December 2022

    Platform technologies enable the research, development, and commercialization of biotechnologies, but may be vulnerable to exploitation. We identify platforms that support different segments of the bioeconomy and discuss their vulnerabilities, how those vulnerabilities might be exploited, and actions the U.S. Government can take to support a secure bioeconomy.

  • Biosafety & Biosecurity Innovation Initiative

    Publication Date: December 2022

    EBRC proposes a structure and function of a Biosafety & Biosecurity Innovation Initiative to reduce biological risks associated with a growing bioeconomy. We recommend that priorities and best practices for a safe and secure bioeconomy be identified through consistent communication between federal agencies and stakeholders across the bioeconomy enterprise.

  • Development of a Workforce to Support a Distributed, Equitable Bioeconomy

    Publication Date: December 2022

    The development of biotechnologies that will usher in a more sustainable and healthier future require a talented, trained workforce that reflects the diversity of America. The bioeconomy will rely on the distribution of opportunity geographically, demographically, and across the workforce spectrum.

  • Educating the Next-Generation Bioeconomy Workforce

    Publication Date: December 2022

    A robust and distributed bioeconomy requires a skilled, diverse workforce. We describe opportunities and recommendations for improving education and training of the next-generation of biotechnology leaders.

  • Revising Legacy Approaches to Biology Education

    Publication Date: December 2022

    To remain globally competitive and prepare our citizens for the jobs of the future, we must rethink how we teach biology. There is an important role for the federal government to improve the way educational programs are designed, the way companies manage their hiring processes, and the way current and future employees find training throughout their careers.

  • US Leadership in a Global Bioeconomy

    Publication Date: December 2022

    Herein, we describe four key focus areas where international best practices, norms, and/or standards are nascent or underdeveloped, and thus where there is real need and opportunity for US leadership: 1) Standards, Metrics, and Norms, 2) Regulations, 3) Biosecurity and Biosafety, and 4) Horizon Scanning.

  • Compilation: EBRC Policy Papers in Response to the 2022 Bioeconomy Executive Order

    Publication Date: December 2022

    On September 12, 2022, President Biden released an Executive Order on Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe, and Secure American Bioeconomy. This Executive Order calls for “a whole-of-government approach to advance biotechnology and biomanufacturing towards innovative solutions in health, climate change, energy, food security, agriculture, supply chain resilience, and national and economic security.” The Executive Order follows additional action by the United States Congress to support the bioeconomy and biomanufacturing, most notably the passage of Title IV—Bioeconomy Research and Development in the Chips and Science Act.

    To capitalize on this moment of importance and enthusiasm for a growing and robust U.S. bioeconomy, EBRC is publishing a series of policy white papers on topics of importance to EBRC members and the engineering biology community that we believe can provide guidance and recommendations to the federal agencies tasked with responding to the Executive Order. Below you will find a compilation of the papers published on December 1, 2022.

  • Engineering Biology for Climate & Sustainability

    Publication Date: September 2022

    EBRC’s technical roadmap, Engineering Biology for Climate & Sustainability: A Research Roadmap for a Cleaner Future, is a critical assessment of opportunities for engineering biology to contribute to tackling the climate crisis and long-term sustainability of products and solutions for health and well-being of Earth and its inhabitants. The roadmap is comprised of six themes that detail breakthroughs and milestones for engineering biology for climate and sustainability.

  • Public Comment on Oligo Synthesis Screening

    Publication Date: June 2022

    EBRC’s response to the request by HHS ASPR for comments on the Screening Framework Guidance for Providers and Users of Synthetic Oligonucleotides. EBRC convened a two-day workshop with stakeholders from academia, industry, and government to consider the Guidance, and the discussions that ensued formed the basis for this response.

  • Actions to Enable an Equitable and Innovative U.S. Bioeconomy

    Publication Date: May 2022

    The fourth industrial revolution will likely be fueled by operationalizing biomanufacturing and engineering biology. Critical to realizing the benefits of these opportunities will be a diverse workforce and ensuring that the benefits of biotechnology will be equitably dispersed across the United States. In this policy paper, Albert Hinman discusses workforce development, resource cultivation, and open science opportunities for a more inclusive and equitable bioeconomy.

  • Security Screening in Synthetic DNA Synthesis: Recommendations for Updated Federal Guidance

    Publication Date: April 2022

    EBRC recommendations for increasing security in the synthetic DNA synthesis industry.

  • Translational Research for Breakthrough Technologies: Advancing Engineering Biology to Address Societal Needs at NSF

    Publication Date: April 2022

    As NSF establishes its new Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships to translate research into practical applications, the agency has abundant opportunity to boldly support engineering biology research towards transformational, use-inspired technologies to grow and expand the U.S. bioeconomy. EBRC provides recommendations for the new Directorate to support the translation of fundamental engineering biology research results, establish infrastructure to transform tools into technologies, and to enable cross-disciplinary and entrepreneurial research, education, and training.

  • Agricultural Crop Security: Exploring US Federal Readiness and Response Capabilities

    Publication Date: September 2021  |  Originally published in Health Security.

    The consequences of a large-scale attack on US agricultural crops could have severe implications for food and economic security. Recognition, response, and recovery efforts from such an event would involve local, state, and federal plant health officials in addition to law enforcement. This paper, published in Health Security, describes federal preparedness and response capabilities within USDA and between federal agencies and recommends actions to strengthen federal readiness.

  • Making Security Viral: Shifting Engineering Biology Culture and Publishing

    Publication Date: February 2022 | Originally published in ACS Synthetic Biology.

    Consistent reflection on the implications of engineering biology tools and products can help direct and ensure their responsible development. In this paper, members of EBRC’s Security Working Group suggest that the publication stage of the research cycle is an important opportunity to consider the security implications of given work. They describe how such a process might be implemented.

  • Interim Report: Climate and Sustainability Roadmap

    Publication Date: November 2021

    This roadmap identifies research opportunities for adaptation and mitigation that respond to the urgency of the climate crisis, explores ambitious research goals for precipitating a greener future, and discusses the ethical and social considerations for engineering biology for a robust and resilient climate and long-term sustainability.

  • Convention on Biological Diversity 2021 RFI

    Publication Date: June 2021

    EBRC’s response to the request from the Executive Secretariat to comment on the Convention on Biological Diversity Technical Series on Synthetic Biology to reflect advances in the rapidly growing field. As the regulatory landscape around synthetic biology emerges, it is crucial that these discussions are guided by science and expertise. In our submission, we provide detailed comments solicited and synthesized from our members— an international community of experts in synthetic biology from academia and industry.

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