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NIST and the National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative

illustration of biotechnology and biosciences icons
Credit: Adobe Stock

On September 12, 2022, President Joseph R. Biden issued the Executive Order on Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe, and Secure American Economy. This Executive Order (E.O.) launches a National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative to focus federal investments that transform biotechnology discoveries into solutions for critical problems.

The E.O. directs NIST, in partnership with federal and other stakeholders, to:

  • Create and make publicly available a lexicon to assist in the development of measurements and measurement methods of the bioeconomy. The lexicon will support important needs in economic measurement, risk assessments, and the application of machine learning and other artificial intelligence tools.

A "lexicon" provides a common language to help ensure clear communication among stakeholders referencing key aspects of the bioeconomy. 

Visit the NIST Bioeconomy Lexicon

  • Take steps to improve the nation’s cybersecurity for biological data and bio-related software, consistent with President Biden’s Executive Order 14028. NIST will coordinate with relevant interagency partners to identify and recommend relevant cybersecurity best practices for biological data stored on federal government information systems; and consider bio-related software, including software for laboratory equipment, instrumentation, and data management, in establishing baseline security standards for the development of software sold to the government.

NIST will also play a role, along with other Department of Commerce bureaus, in contributing to a report assessing how biotechnology and biomanufacturing can be used to strengthen the resilience of United States supply chains, and helping to address challenges in biomanufacturing supply chains and related biotechnology development infrastructure in creating a vibrant, domestic biomanufacturing ecosystem.

Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Laurie E. Locascio lauded the administration’s actions to support biomanufacturing and biotechnology, stating, “The National Institute of Standards and Technology is a leader in advancing measurement science, standards, data, and tools for emerging biotechnologies. This Executive Order emphasizes the importance of federal engagement with industry to achieve a strong and resilient domestic bioeconomy, and NIST’s critical role for the nation.”

NIST provides innovative solutions aligned with the goals of the National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative through:

  • Advancing research and development in engineering biology, biomanufacturing measurements and technologies, standards, and data for impacts in healthcare, climate change and environmental sustainability, food and agriculture, and supply chain resilience
  • Public-private partnerships within the Manufacturing USA network, including the Department of Commerce-sponsored National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL), and connections through the Bioindustrial Manufacturing and Design Ecosystem (BioMADE), and BioFabUSA
  • Convening industrial, government, and academic stakeholders through NIST-led consortia
  • Efforts to strengthen the biomanufacturing and biotechnology supply chains within the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)

NIST will work with the Department of Commerce bureaus and other federal agencies to support the E.O.’s principles of focusing federal investments to transform biotechnology discoveries into tangible benefits, expand domestic biomanufacturing capacity, and maintain America’s competitive edge in biotechnology and biomanufacturing. 

Created September 8, 2022, Updated December 9, 2022