Young applauds interim report from National Security Commission on Emerging Biotechnology

U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) on Jan. 10 commended an interim report issued by the bipartisan U.S. National Security Commission on Emerging Biotechnology (NSCEB) that calls for American leadership in biotechnology innovation.

“The analysis and action items included in this interim report are critical to our current and future national defense activities and American leadership in biotechnology,” said Sen. Young, who serves as a commissioner on the NSCEB.

America is facing challenges from countries like China that are investing billions of dollars into domestic biotechnologies, as well as from the increasing speed of innovation that’s being supercharged by convergence with AI and other technologies, according to the interim report, which examines the intersection of emerging biotechnology and national security.

“Biotechnology presents tremendous opportunities for life sciences, manufacturing, agriculture, defense, and many other fields,” Sen. Young said. “Preserving America’s leading role in biotechnology is essential for our long-term economic and national security and will open up new opportunities across our nation.”

The interim report, released last month, includes the NSCEB’s first round of findings and recommendations for policymakers and outlines the promise of biotechnology for America’s national security and economic competitiveness.

In addition to reviewing findings so far, Sen. Young and the other commissioners made several legislative recommendations for congressional action in this year’s Farm Bill reauthorization.

“Recent advances in biotechnology are unlocking the ability to program biology just as we program computers,” the commissioners write in the report. “Emerging biotechnologies could enable the world to improve human and planetary health, secure food and energy production, ensure supply chain resiliency, and grow the economy at a massive scale. 

“Biotechnology has the potential to bolster economic development in every community,” they write. “If we capitalize on this unique opportunity, we can make this century the age of biology.”

In turn, a thriving biotechnology industry will enhance U.S. national security, strengthen and diversify the U.S. economy, and bolster a growing workforce, according to the interim report.

The NSCEB, established by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, started its work in 2023 with a mandate to review advances in emerging biotechnology, provide an interim report to the President of the United States and the Armed Services Committees within one year, and submit a final unclassified report within two years that includes recommendations for action by Congress and the federal government.

In addition to Sen. Young, the bipartisan commission includes U.S. Rep. Stephanie Bice (R-OK), among several other members.