Just as innovations in artificial intelligence will revolutionize society and national security, emerging biotechnology is already changing the world. For example, microbial proteins have been genetically engineered in a way that may help prevent billions of dollars in annual crop damage and assist in decontaminating water. However, as with many transformational technologies, advances in biotechnology also present new risks, particularly for national security.
With Honor Action worked with For Country Caucus members Representatives Mike Gallagher and Seth Moulton to establish the National Security Commission on Emerging Biotechnology (NSCEB) in 2021. Led by Drs. Jason Kelly and Michelle Rozo, the NSCEB was charged by Congress with conducting a thorough review of how advancements in emerging biotechnology and related technologies will shape current and future activities of the Department of Defense. Senator Todd Young, a Marine Corps veteran and one of With Honor Action’s bipartisan allies in the U.S. Senate, serves as a commissioner.
The NSCEB is expected to provide an interim report to the President of the United States and the Armed Services Committees in December 2023, and submit a final, unclassified report in December 2024. The final report will include recommendations for bipartisan legislation that With Honor Action and the For Country Caucus plan to help pass into law and fully implement, similar to the actions taken with past commissions of critical national security importance, notably the National Security Commission on AI, and the Cyberspace Solarium Commission.
In the interim, With Honor Action remains engaged on the issue. In 2022, With Honor Action supported our biotechnology manufacturing industry in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023. The provision directs the Secretary of Defense to provide funding, establish, or designate manufacturing hubs to carry out research and development activities as well as demonstration projects for future investments.