SynBio Coalition Applauds Senate Passage of The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act

WASHINGTON, June 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the SynBio Coalition, a non-partisan group of synthetic biology industry leaders welcomed the bipartisan passage of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) by the Senate yesterday. The USICA, which includes key provisions of the Endless Frontier Act, will bolster American competitiveness and innovation in biotechnology and synthetic biology. It supports research, education, workforce development, and other measures to coordinate scientific development and encourage the growth of a new manufacturing industry.

The USICA reaffirms the importance of synthetic biology in confronting many challenges facing the country. Notably, synthetic biology and biosecurity efforts were critical to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, showcasing the enormous promise of biological solutions. 

This landmark legislation embraces solutions and supports robust scientific research and economic development efforts needed to realize the powerful potential of synthetic biology. It includes significant support for STEM education and workforce development; the creation of a new division within the National Science Foundation, the Directorate of Technology and Innovation; and the formation of a National Engineering Biology Research & Development Initiative. Together, these measures, among others, will help develop the American bioeconomy, which is critical for the future of American biosecurity and economic growth. One recent report indicated that, over the coming decades, a visible pipeline of biological applications could create approximately $2 to $4 trillion of direct annual economic impact globally.

“Yesterday’s passage represents an important inflection point for the entire synthetic biology industry, which is poised to be a primary driver of economic and jobs growth over the next century,” said Christina Smolke, CEO of Antheia. “We are excited to see bipartisan support for synthetic biology and are committed to working with the government to deliver on its incredible potential.”

“Consumer demand, technological expertise, and government support is a powerful trio to drive the continued rise of the American bioeconomy,” said Christophe Schilling, CEO of Genomatica. “Policies and investments in synbio innovation and the growth of biobased manufacturing are crucial support in a wholesale transition to sustainable materials, making better products with a better environmental profile to make our world a better place.”

“As we moved from our graduate work at MIT to building a horizontal platform for cell programming at Ginkgo, my co-founders and I have seen the transformative power of government investment in scientific innovation and coordination,” said Jason Kelly, CEO of Ginkgo Bioworks. “Our generation has an incredible opportunity to leverage biology in the service of sustainability, health, and well-being for our communities and our partners around the world. Legislation like this will help us bring about that future.”

The SynBio Coalition remains committed to working with the federal government to build out this innovative sector and create high-paying U.S. jobs, and it looks forward to working with Congress and the Biden Administration on these critical issues. 


Founded by three of the leading synthetic biology companies, the SynBio Coalition is a non-partisan group of business leaders and stakeholders dedicated to advancing synthetic biology as a driver of technological innovation and economic growth. The SynBio Coalition aims to turn the US into the home of the world’s most secure and technologically advanced biomanufacturing industry.


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