Ranking Member Johnson and Rep. Sensenbrenner Introduce Bipartisan Engineering Biology Legislation

Jan 29, 2015
Ranking Member Johnson and Rep. Sensenbrenner Introduce Bipartisan Engineering Biology Legislation

(Washington, DC) - Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced H.R. 591, the Engineering Biology Research and Development Act of 2015.

The Engineering Biology Research and Development Act of 2015 would establish a National Engineering Biology Research and Development Program to support and coordinate Federal R&D in engineering biology.

Engineering biology research is at the intersection of biological, physical, and information sciences and engineering. Ranking Member Johnson said, “This emerging area of research has the potential to address some of the most serious societal challenges including improving human health, providing food for a growing population, reducing our dependency on fossil fuels, and protecting our environment.”

Rep. Sensenbrenner said, “Bioscience is a growing industry, responsible for tens of thousands of jobs in Wisconsin alone. I am pleased to join Congresswoman Johnson in introducing bipartisan legislation that will advance federal bioengineering programs, ensure America remains the world leader in scientific innovation and create jobs.”

Along with authorizing a federal engineering biology research program, this bill would establish a framework for greater coordination of federal investments in engineering biology; lead to a national strategy for those investments; expand public-private partnerships; focus on the education and training for the next generation of engineering biology researchers; and address any potential ethical, legal, environmental, and societal issues associated with engineering biology research.

Mr. David Rejeski, the Director of the Science and Technology Innovation Program at the Wilson Center said, “The Engineering Biology Research and Development Act of 2015 is an important bill because it can help strengthen America’s competitive position in emerging research areas such as synthetic biology through better coordination and oversight of federal investments and activities.”

Ranking Member Johnson said, “I am hopeful that we can work together to advance this bipartisan legislation and help ensure that the United States remains a leader in this critical area of science and technology.”