Today, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) submitted its comments in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (UDSA) Solicitation of Input from Stakeholders on Agricultural Innovations, part of the Department’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda.
The solicitation follows a series of goals announced by the Department in February to reduce the environmental footprint from agriculture in half, while increasing production by 40 percent.
Since then, the COVID-19 outbreak has only increased the importance of the Department’s goals, while also creating renewed urgency to protect public health and improve the wellbeing of people, animals, and the environment by developing innovative, sustainable solutions throughout the agricultural value chain.
“The vulnerabilities in our supply chains exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic—which will only be compounded by climate change—emphasize the need to create a more resilient world through science,” said Dana O’Brien, executive vice president at BIO. “We have an obligation to learn from this crisis and apply those learnings to build a better tomorrow. That means taking steps to invest in science, innovation and the workforce needed to create resilient industries and maintain global economic strength.”
In its comments, BIO stresses the importance of bolstering the bioeconomy to meet USDA’s goals, through the development of new platform technologies, enhancements in agriculture and food production, and increased production of sustainable fuels, renewable chemicals, and biobased products. BIO centers its recommendations around five key principles:
1. Advance Modern Regulatory Approaches to Keep Pace with Innovation
2. Provide Robust Funding of Public and Private Sector Scientific Research
3. Modernize Infrastructure
4. Incentivize Farmers
5. Build Public Support and Increase Market Access for Innovative Technologies
To read BIO’s full comments, click here.