President Joe Biden signed an executive order Sept. 12 to launch the National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative, which will put more federal funding into the biotechnology industry. The executive order coincided with Biden’s speech announcing a long-term goal to reduce cancer deaths and pursue cures or preventative treatments. 

A release announcing the executive order said, “By responsibly harnessing the full potential of biotechnology and biomanufacturing, we will be able to realize the potential of biology that can make almost anything that we use in our day-to-day lives.” Biomanufacturing is a process of programming microbes to create specialty chemicals and compounds that can serve as an alternative to petrochemical-based production to make plastics, fuels, materials, and medicines.

Among the actions U.S. departments and agencies plan to take following the executive order is the recently announced National Science Foundation competition to fund Regional Innovation Engines across the country. The “engines” will support innovation in areas like manufacturing life-saving medicines, reducing waste and mitigating climate change. View a full list of actions on