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September 18, 2015

Wilson Center Releases Funding Report On U.S. Synthetic Biology Research


On September 16, 2015, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Wilson Center) released a funding report on U.S. Trends in Synthetic Biology Research Funding. The Wilson Center found that the U.S. invested approximately $820 million in synthetic biology research between 2008 and 2014, with nearly 60 percent of the funding coming from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The National Science Foundation (NSF) has also been funding synthetic biology research, investing $138 million since 2008, but is winding down funding in anticipation of the conclusion of the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (SynBERC) in 2016. Of all U.S. funding for synthetic biology research, less than one percent is focused on risk research with a similar amount focused on ethical, legal, and social issues. This funding report was released as an update to the 2010 brief Trends in Synthetic Biology Research Funding in the United States and Europe, an assessment of the funding resources provided by U.S. and European governments for synthetic biology research.