Biosciences’ ALD Mary Maxon and Chief Science and Technology Officer Jay Keasling recently attended an event in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Council on Competitiveness. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Director Mike Witherell and the Lab’s Head of Government and Community Relations Don Medley were also in attendance. The briefing on Capitol Hill marked the release of the council’s report, Leverage: Advancing U.S. Bioscience, which captures the outputs of a day-long discussion last year about infrastructure, technology, investment, and talent needed for advancements in U.S. bioscience.
At the event, Keasling discussed the role of national biofoundries; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Allison Campbell described User Facilities and the importance of microbiome research in advancing bioscience; and UCLA Chancellor Gene Block made a compelling argument for more effective multidisciplinary training and workforce preparedness to advance the U.S. bioscience enterprise.
In an op-ed in The Hill, Council on Competitiveness president and CEO Deborah Wince-Smith and Intrexon founder and CSO Tom Reed call for more focus by the federal government on building the nation’s bioeconomy. The authors note that U.S. federal investment in foundational work in the biosciences is now paying dividends; they point specifically to the Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute and Joint BioEnergy Institute at Berkeley Lab as examples, calling them “innovation engines . . . not just [for] bioscience technology, product, and material design but also with advanced manufacturing and data management.”
Read the Council on Competitiveness press release for more information.