Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), Chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science, Oceans, Weather, and Fisheries, held a hearing to examine the opportunities and challenges surrounding the development of the U.S. bioeconomy, which impacts virtually every sector of the American economy. Innovations in the bioeconomy have already spurred major scientific breakthroughs, including the first coronavirus vaccine for human trials.
NOTE: Click here or the picture above to download Senator Gardner’s remarks.
“The bioeconomy touches every facet of our daily lives and includes innovations in agriculture, food, medicine, clothing, and more,” said Senator Gardner. “Like the technological revolution and the Industrial Revolution before it, the biological revolution will reshape how we interact with and understand the world around us. While developments like improved vaccines and more sustainable products are welcome advancements, we must also ensure that American companies and the global community are adhering to strong ethical principles in the new scientific projects they undertake. This hearing explored these fundamental questions and helps set the stage for additional work in Congress, the Administration, the private sector, and international fora on issues related to the bioeconomy.”
In December 2019, The New York Times reported that China was attempting to leverage synthetic biology tools to create facial images of ethnic minorities using DNA samples, which could help the Chinese government expand their mass surveillance program.
Background on Gardner’s federal efforts to bolster scientific research and innovation:
Gardner recently secured funding increases for scientific research and development in the Senate Commerce, Science, Justice, and Related Agencies appropriations package:
- $48.5 million funding increase for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for a total of $1.03 billion to that agency—a nearly 5 percent increase over last fiscal year
- Included in the NIST increase is a $6 million increase for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program, which Gardner has championed and has a Colorado presence through Manufacturer’s Edge
- $203 million funding increase for the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a total of $8.278 billion to that agency—a nearly 3 percent increase over last fiscal year
Gardner authored the bipartisan American Innovation and Competitiveness Act:
- Beginning in July of 2015, Senators Gardner and Peters began working together on ways to update federal science and technology research policy
- In June of 2016, Gardner and Peters introduced the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act
- In December of 2016, the Senate and House of Representatives passed the Gardner-Peters legislation
- In January 2017, President Obama signed the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act into law
Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Science, Oceans, Weather, and Fisheries.
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