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GAO: Information Sharing Could Help Keep Competitive Edge in Synthetic Biology, Quantum Computing

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The Government Accountability Office has outlined potential measures the U.S. government should consider to maintain the country’s competitive edge in synthetic biology, quantum computing and other research areas.

Those considerations include information sharing; development of a strategic approach to convene potential partners through consortia; emphasis on technology development and commercialization; and talent recruitment, training and employee retention to build up the science and technology workforce, GAO said in a report published Wednesday.

GAO partnered with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to seek feedback from 19 industry, academia and government experts on potential considerations to maintain U.S. competitiveness.

The congressional watchdog also recommended federal agencies that oversee quantum computing and synthetic biology research implement collaboration practices.

Such practices include efforts to agree on responsibilities and roles, define a common outcome, establish procedures and policies to operate across agencies, establish joint strategies and develop measures to evaluate results.

GAO also found that over 10 agencies back research on synthetic biology, while at least six agencies support research work on quantum computing.