U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Critical Technology Assessment of Biotechnology in U.S. Industry

August 14, 2002

Washington D.C., 13 August 2002

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced today that it has launched a Critical Technology Assessment of Biotechnology in U.S. Industry. The assessment, to be based on a survey of more than 3,000 companies, will address the economic health and competitiveness of U.S. companies that engage in biotechnology.

Biotechnology increasingly influences U.S. national security and economic productivity in numerous industrial processes, products, healthcare, and agriculture. The goal of this survey is to obtain comprehensive data on the scope of domestic commercial and research activities in biotechnology in order to help maintain and enhance the defense industrial and technological base of the United States and increase economic productivity. This survey will also provide companies with data that will help enable them to benchmark their activities against the broader biotechnology industry. A final report with aggregate data based on the survey will be available to industry and the public. The report will not disclose any individual company information.

Presently, the U.S. Government does not collect comprehensive statistics on the U.S. biotechnology industry. This is largely because biotechnology is a rapidly developing sector and because the North American Industry Classification System, developed by the U.S. Bureau of the Census (in partnership with the statistical agencies of Canada and Mexico), does not provide a separate classification for biotechnology.

The assessment will cover companies that:

engage in biotechnology research and development,
create biotechnology products or research tools, and/or
use biotechnology processes in their manufacturing.

With input from other agencies of the U.S. Government, two bureaus of the U.S. Department of Commerce -- the Bureau of Industry and Security (Office of Strategic Industries and Economic Security) and the Technology Administration (Office of Technology Policy) -- are partnering to conduct the survey and assessment.

The Office of Strategic Industries and Economic Security is utilizing its authority under the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended, to conduct the survey. Companies receiving survey notices are required to respond within 45 days of receipt of the survey. Additional copies of the survey may be downloaded from the Bureau of Industry and Security website in either Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat format, at:

(Microsoft Word) or (Adobe Acrobat)

US Department of Commerce
http://www.doc.gov http://www.ta.doc.gov/PRel/pr020813.htm

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