White House announces $2B in support for biotechnology

By Erin Voegele | September 15, 2022

The White House on Sept. 14 announced more than $2 billion in funding as part of the launch of a National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative, which was created via an executive order issued by President Joe Biden on Sept. 12.

To support efforts to bring bioproducts to market, the U.S. Department of Energy will provide up to $100 million for research and development (R&D) for conversion of biomass to fuels and chemicals, including R&D for improved production and recycling of biobased plastics. An additional $60 million in DOE funds will help de-risk the scale up of biotechnology and biomanufacturing to support commercial production of renewable chemicals and fuels. The USDA’s new $10 million Bioproduct Pilot Program will also support these efforts.

The White House also noted that the U.S. Department of Defense will invest $1 billion over the next five years to expand domestic biomanufacturing. The funding aims to catalyze the establishment of the domestic bioindustrial manufacturing base that is accessible to U.S. innovators. The White House said the DOD support will provide incentives for private- and public-sector partners to expand manufacturing capacity for products important to both commercial and defense supply chains, such as critical chemicals. DOD will also invest an additional $200 million support enhancements to biosecurity and cybersecurity posture for these facilities. In addition, USDA will make $500 million available through a new grant program to support independent, innovative and sustainable American fertilizer production to supply U.S. farmers, which can make use of advances in biotechnology and biomanufacturing.

The initiative will also leverage funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies. Additional information is available on the White House website