Biology is becoming a defining technology of the modern era: the bioeconomy is expected to contribute nearly 1.1 million jobs to the United States by 2030. Preparing the skilled workforce that our nation will need to fill these jobs requires a fundamental shift in how the field of biology is viewed. Biology is not merely a collection of facts to be memorized in school. Rather, it is a dynamic economic sector that provides opportunities for Americans of all skillsets, and that can generate creatively engineered solutions to persistent global challenges.
The Biden-Harris Administration can position the United States as a world leader in the emerging bioeconomy by funding modernized biology education, establishing world-class entrepreneurial hubs for biotechnology in non-traditional regions of the country, and supporting equitable access to industry-recognized certificates and work-based training. Through this comprehensive Built with Biology Plan, the federal government can prepare and invite more Americans into skilled jobs that support the bioeconomy. The social imperative for investing in the bioeconomy is at least as great as the economic one. We will build a better future for all Americans—including people of color, people with disabilities, and people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds—only by harnessing regional talent and growing robust bioeconomies in all 50 states.
While the U.S. government grapples with the definition of the bioeconomy and what sectors it does and does not contain, another definitional issue needs to be addressed: What does sustainability mean in a bioeconomy?
Federal clearinghouses should incorporate open science practices into their standards and procedures used to identify evidence-based social programs eligible for federal funding.
To better address security and sustainability of open source software, the United States should establish a Digital Technology Fund through multi-stakeholder participation.
Building on existing data and privacy efforts, the White House and federal science agencies should collaborate to develop and implement clear standards for research data privacy across the data management and sharing life cycle.