(Washington, DC) – Today, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) along with Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) introduced the Bioeconomy Research and Development Act of 2021. This legislation would establish a National Engineering Biology Research and Development Program to advance engineering biology research. The bill would also expand the number of engineering biology researchers; accelerate the translation and commercialization of engineering biology; and improve interagency planning and coordination of federal engineering biology research initiatives.

“Biology-based innovation is one of the greatest tools we have in addressing some of our world’s greatest challenges,” said Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). “Engineering biology research will help us grow sustainable food that is more resilient to climate change, reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, and make more effective drugs to treat human disease, including the COVID-19 vaccines. It is past time for the United States to recognize the significance of this emerging research area to our economic and national security, and to make this a priority on the level of artificial intelligence and other critical fields. I look forward to working in a bipartisan, bicameral way to ensure the United States does not lose its leadership position in this area.”

“Bioengineering is a driving force behind life-saving medicine, better food production, cleaner energy, and advanced manufacturing, just to name a few,” said Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK). “Without a strong biotechnology research and development enterprise, we would not have been able to develop and produce COVID-19 vaccines so quickly and effectively. This is a complex field of research and our goal as a country must be to lead the way in developing both the technology and the safety and ethical standards around it. The Bioeconomy Research and Development Act will ensure the United States remains the global leader in bioengineering and I’m looking forward to moving it through Congress with Chairwoman Johnson.”