Coherent Block Funding for Microbial Environmental Risk Assessment and Mitigation Strategy Development

Nathan Hillson

Coherent Block Funding is a mechanism for government, industry, and institutional agencies to support and coordinate the assessment of environmental risks posed by genetically engineered microbes, and the development of strategies to mitigate these risks. In short, a single block of funding would support several testing facilities in addition to multiple individual investigators developing mitigation strategies. Unlike current funding mechanisms which distribute funding piecemeal at 5% or less of larger science projects, do not align the incentives of separate investigators, and make it difficult to accomplish meaningful outcomes, Coherent Block Funding can sustain real-world test-bed infrastructure and provide return on investment through establishing which mitigation strategies are actually effective. This strategic action plan aims to garner high-level support within federal and institutional agencies to prioritize Coherent Block Funding as a support mechanism for genetically engineered microbe environmental risk assessment and mitigation strategy development.