The Initiative shall include, to the maximum extent practicable, outreach to primarily undergraduate and historically Black colleges and universities, Tribal Colleges or Universities, and minority-serving institutions about Initiative opportunities, and shall encourage the development of research collaborations between research-intensive universities and primarily undergraduate and historically Black colleges and universities, Tribal Colleges or Universities, and minority-serving institutions.
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42 U.S. Code § 19132 - National Engineering Biology Research and Development Initiative
(a) In generalThe President, acting through the Office of Science and Technology Policy, shall implement a National Engineering Biology Research and Development Initiative to advance societal well-being, national security, sustainability, and economic productivity and competitiveness through the following:
Advancing areas of research at the intersection of the biological, physical, chemical, data, and computational and information sciences and engineering to accelerate scientific understanding and technological innovation in engineering biology.
Advancing areas of biomanufacturing research to optimize, standardize, scale, and deliver new products and solutions.
Supporting social and behavioral sciences and economics research that advances the field of engineering biology and contributes to the development and public understanding of new products, processes, and technologies.
Improving the understanding of engineering biology of the scientific and lay public and supporting greater evidence-based public discourse about its benefits and risks.
Supporting research relating to the risks and benefits of engineering biology, including under subsection (d).
Supporting the development of novel tools and technologies to accelerate scientific understanding and technological innovation in engineering biology.
Expanding the number of researchers, educators, and students and a retooled workforce with engineering biology training, including from traditionally underrepresented and underserved populations.
Improving the interagency planning and coordination of Federal Government activities related to engineering biology.
(b) Initiative activitiesThe activities of the Initiative shall include the following:
(1) Sustained support for engineering biology research and development through the following:
Grants to fund the work of individual investigators and teams of investigators, including interdisciplinary teams.
Projects funded under joint solicitations by a collaboration of not fewer than two agencies participating in the Initiative.
(2) Sustained support for databases and related tools, including the following:
Support for the establishment, curation, and maintenance of curated genomics, epigenomics, and other relevant omics databases, including plant, animal, and microbial databases, that are available to researchers to carry out engineering biology research in a manner that does not compromise national security or the privacy or security of information within such databases.
Development of standards for such databases, including for curation, interoperability, and protection of privacy and security.
Support for the development of computational tools, including artificial intelligence tools, that can accelerate research and innovation using such databases.
An inventory and assessment of all Federal government omics databases to identify opportunities to improve the utility of such databases, as appropriate and in a manner that does not compromise national security or the privacy and security of information within such databases, and inform investment in such databases as critical infrastructure for the engineering biology research enterprise.
(3) Sustained support for the development, optimization, and validation of novel tools and technologies to enable the dynamic study of molecular processes in situ, including through the following:
Grants to fund the work of investigators at institutions of higher education and other nonprofit research institutions.
Awards under the Small Business Innovation Research Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer Program (as described in section 638 of title 15).
Support for a national network of testbeds based on open standards, interfaces, and processes, including by repurposing existing facilities such as those specified in paragraph (3)(C), that would enable scale up of laboratory engineering biology research.
Activities to develop robust mechanisms for documenting and quantifying the outputs and economic benefits of engineering biology.
(7) Activities to accelerate the translation and commercialization of new products, processes, and technologies by carrying out the following:
Connecting researchers, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows with entrepreneurship education and training opportunities.
(c) Expanding participation
(d) Ethical, legal, environmental, safety, security, and societal issuesInitiative activities shall take into account ethical, legal, environmental, safety, security, and other appropriate societal issues by carrying out the following:
Supporting research, including in the social sciences, and other activities addressing ethical, legal, environmental, and other appropriate societal issues related to engineering biology, including integrating research on such topics with the research and development in engineering biology, and encouraging the dissemination of the results of such research, including through interdisciplinary engineering biology research centers described in subsection (b)(1)(C).
Supporting research and other activities related to the safety and security implications of engineering biology, including outreach to increase awareness among Federal researchers and federally-funded researchers at institutions of higher education about potential safety and security implications of engineering biology research, as appropriate.
Ensuring, through the agencies and departments that participate in the Initiative, that public input and outreach are integrated into the Initiative by the convening of regular and ongoing public discussions through mechanisms such as workshops, consensus conferences, and educational events, as appropriate.