Research of the past several decades, through enlightened public support, has profoundly advanced the understanding of life processes. A new biotechnology of extraordinary promise has emerged. While much of great importance remains to be learned at the most fundamental level about living organisms, applications of present knowledge can be foreseen that are likely to be of far-reaching benefit to people everywhere. These useful applications may well improve health, enhance food and energy supplies, improve the quality of the environment, and reduce the cost of many industrial processes and products.
With such beneficial possibilities at least dimly foreseeable, it becomes a matter of urgent concern to take constructive steps toward their fulfillment. Most of the basic research which made these applications possible has been done in universities in the United States, mainly with federal government funding. The development of these findings into useful processes and products is already vigorously under way