The Biosciences Institute aims to apply the full potential of biology toward solving many of today’s most pressing challenges. We strive to advance our understanding of biology and facilitate the transition of biological innovations into the real world for public benefit.


BioFutures aims to contribute to the creation of a future, streamlined, circular bioeconomy, in which biological resources are transformed sustainably into food, feed, and biomaterials.

In October 2021, an interdisciplinary Task Force on Synthetic Biology and the Bioeconomy was launched to help maximize the potential of the bioeconomy. Published in April 2022, “The U.S. Bioeconomy: Charting a Course for a Resilient and Competitive Future,” provided a strategy for a resilient and competitive bioeconomy fueled by new job creation, a diverse workforce, distributed bioproduction, and revitalized rural communities. The strategy aligns with the work of The Schmidt Family Foundation, which has partnered with communities around the world to restore a balanced relationship between people and planet, and transition away from fossil fuels.

Virtual Institute on Feedstocks of the Future (VIFF)

With support from the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR), the Virtual Institute on Feedstocks for the Future (VIFF), aims to support the science, technology, and engineering necessary to advance the use of underutilized biomass carbon sources in bioproduction, creating new economic and environmental benefits.

Sensors for Biomanufacturing

We aim to overcome engineering constraints to enable the large-scale bioproduction of useful products. We will approach the problem of scaling biological systems from small to commercial volumes by advancing cutting-edge research towards creating biosensors that can capture real-time, relevant data inside bioreactors.

Innovation for Bioreactors

To design and build innovative bioreactors that are fit for the purpose of biomanufacturing at scale, we issued a special Project Call with BioMADE to competitively select and co-fund the most promising teams to achieve this goal.

Mobilizing Technical Talent for the Biosciences

We aim to support efforts that develop new tools, standards, and approaches to realize the full potential of biology.

Additional Biosciences Initiatives

The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Center at the Broad Institute

The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Center at the Broad Institute is building a global network across academia and industry to conduct cross-cutting machine learning and life sciences research to transform biology and improve human health.

Scaling up Systems Biology Engineering

The long-term goal of this research is to formulate, demonstrate, and evaluate a new model for biological systems engineering. This project is a seed effort focused on proof-of-concept integration in synthetic cells that would yield a novel, multicomponent “biomachine”, while generating and disseminating a set of component standards, design abstractions, software tools, laboratory protocols, and open-source artifacts (hardware, software, wetware) to the community.