DOD to Invest $1.2B in Biomanufacturing; Heidi Shyu Quoted

The Department of Defense on Wednesday announced $1.2 billion in biomanufacturing investments days after President Joe Biden signed an executive order to advance biotechnology and biomanufacturing innovation in the U.S.

The Department recognizes biotechnology as a Critical Technology Area that will change the way the DoD develops new capabilities, conducts missions, and adapts to major global changes,” Heidi Shyu, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, said in a statement published Wednesday.

This Executive Order will advance and synchronize our efforts—across the DoD and across the Federal Government—to strategically leverage biotechnology so that our Nation maintains its economic, military, and technological advantage,” added Shyu, a 2022 Wash100 Award winner.

The Pentagon will invest $1 billion in the next five years in domestic bioindustrial manufacturing infrastructure to incentivize partners in both public and private sectors to broaden manufacturing capacity for critical chemicals and other products that are important to defense supply chains.

The department will also make a $200 million investment to improve the cybersecurity posture and biosecurity of biomanufacturing facilities.

DOD said it seeks to advance biotechnology through production, operational demonstration and prototyping efforts and will pursue specific initiatives to achieve the goal, such as linking and delivering biotech platforms to mission requirements; building a rapid prototyping pipeline with a framework that enables automated capacity, standard workflows and shared data; and promoting a multidisciplinary, diverse workforce for the future.

The department will also foster biotechnology through its manufacturing innovation institutions, particularly the BioIndustrial Manufacturing & Design Ecosystem or BioMADE and BioFabUSA.

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