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Biotechnology Can Provide Foundation for A U.S. Economy “Built To Last”

BIO calls on the administration and Congress to embrace proposals to Unleash the Promise of Biotechnology.

BIO Calls On the Administration and Congress to Embrace Proposals to Unleash the Promise of Biotechnology

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Wednesday, January 25, 2012) - BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech:

“We commend President Obama’s call for creating an economy that is ‘built to last.’  We strongly believe that biotechnology can meet this challenge.  Our industry sustains and creates high-wage, high-value U.S. jobs, fuels 21st century manufacturing and helps drive U.S. leadership in competitiveness and innovation.  Most importantly, biotechnology offers lifesaving and innovative scientific breakthroughs through the development of new cures and treatments for debilitating diseases including cancer, Multiple Sclerosis and HIV/AIDS and by providing cutting-edge technologies to address pressing concerns in creating alternative energy sources, combating hunger, and protecting against bio-terror.

"Increasing investment in federally funded research, as the President called for in his address, is important.  It takes public and private companies to translate that research into cures and useful technologies.  We look forward to working with the Administration and the Congress to pursue public policies that will unleash the promise of biotechnology.

“Curing diseases, first and foremost, means saving lives.  But it also means reducing health care costs.  With science-based regulatory systems, appropriate tax policy and incentives to encourage continued innovation, America’s biotechnology sector can help drive substantial job growth in the United States and advance our nation’s competitiveness over the long term.  The proposals detailed in our ‘Unleashing the Promise of Biotechnology’ plan are designed to transform the innovative ideas of today into the realities of tomorrow.

“The President has been a supporter of building a strong biobased economy. The U.S. biobased economy is growing in large part from the innovation and commercial development of the industrial biotechnology sector. Biorefineries that deploy biotechnology to convert renewable agricultural feedstocks and other organic raw material to chemicals and biofuels or more cleanly manufacture consumer products can help revitalize U.S. manufacturing and generate high-quality jobs. Growth of the bioeconomy can strengthen our nation’s economic security and energy security by reducing dependence on foreign oil. And it could improve the health of our nation’s citizens and its environmental health through more efficient manufacturing.

“America is the world leader in biotechnology.  Our nation’s biotechnology industry is comprised of scientists, entrepreneurs, and large and small companies in all 50 states engaged in translating the latest scientific discoveries into innovative new medical therapies and environmental products, increased agricultural production and farm incomes, and greener bio-based products and biofuels. Nationwide, our industry directly employs more than 1.4 million people and indirectly generates jobs for an additional 6.6 million people. These are high-quality jobs, paying substantially more than the average U.S. wage.

“Realizing the promise of biotechnology requires a comprehensive national strategy that fine-tunes some policies and overhauls others.  The biotechnology sector continues to stand ready to work with President Obama, his Administration and the Congress to help create jobs and drive economic growth.”