The bioeconomy is an economic activity that is driven by research and innovation in the life sciences and biotechnology, enabled by technological advances in engineering and in computing and information sciences. Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences Mary Maxon served on The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) committee, Safeguarding the Bioeconomy: Finding Strategies for Understanding, Evaluating, and Protecting the Bioeconomy while Sustaining Innovation and Growth, sponsored by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The committee produced a report, Safeguarding the Bioeconomy, which was released on January 14, 2020. For the first time ever comprehensively assessed, the U.S. bioeconomy is valued at ~$950B, according to the report. The report also says that the U.S. is a clear leader in the global bioeconomy landscape, and despite this, faces challenges from decentralized leadership, inadequate talent development, cybersecurity vulnerabilities, stagnant investment in fundamental research, and international competition. The committee called for White House leadership to develop a strategy to promote and protect the U.S. bioeconomy.
Maxon was one of eight committee members (with Steven M. Bellovin, Thomas M. Connelly, Jr. (Chair), J. Bradley Dickerson, Diane Dieuliis, Gerald Epstein, Jeffrey Furman, and Kelvin Lee) present to participate in the report release activities in Washington, DC. Watch the webcast of the report press release (beginning at 14:12). Read more in the National Academies press release.