Recommendation 4

Coordination Federal Activity Updated July 16, 2012

Coordinated Approach to Synthetic Biology

Develop a clear, defined, and coordinated approach to synthetic biology research and development across the U.S. government.


The Commission sees no need at this time to create additional agencies or oversight bodies focused specifically on synthetic biology. Rather, the Commission urges the Executive Office of the President, in consultation with relevant federal agencies, to develop a clear, defined, and coordinated approach to synthetic biology research and development across the government. A mechanism or body should be identified to: (1) leverage existing resources by providing ongoing and coordinated review of developments in synthetic biology, (2) ensure that regulatory requirements are consistent and non-contradictory, and (3) periodically and on a timely basis inform the public of its findings. Additional activities for this coordinating body or process are described in other recommendations.



  • Executive Office of the President
    • The White House Office of Science & Technology has convened a synthetic biology working group under the National Science and Technology Council's Subcommittee on Life Sciences. The interagency working group is task oriented and time limited, with deliberations taking place as of June 2012.
    • The Emerging Technologies Interagency Policy Coordination Committee was formed in 2010 to give special attention to new and emerging technologies, such as synthetic biology, and to examine their policy implications.
    • President Obama’s National Bioeconomy Blueprint, released April 26, 2012, identifies synthetic biology as a key foundational technology to the “bioeconomy” of the future and alludes to efforts to foster multiagency “coordinated, integrated R&D efforts,” revamp regulatory processes, help bring “bioinventions” to market, and update training and education programs.
  • Other federal agencies – No activities identified.


  • No activities identified.           

User Comments and Suggestions

Post Comment or Suggest Addition

Next Recommendation »
« Previous Recommendation