Opinion: Needed for national security and competitiveness: a federal biodata infrastructure

An executive order from the Biden administration aims to build a robust bioeconomy “in a manner that benefits all Americans and the global community and maintains United States technological leadership and economic competitiveness.” The executive order acknowledged the importance of biodata to growing the U.S. bioeconomy and calls for “a biological data initiative.”

That’s easier said than done. I see significant challenges that must be addressed ahead of May 10, the deadline by which several U.S. government agencies are required to report to the White House the biological data sources they deem critical to U.S. national interests. Agencies must also share by then their plans to fill data gaps, reduce security risks to biological data repositories, and outline each agency’s authorities, resources, and actions needed to support the data initiative.

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