Washington, D.C. – October 7, 2009 – The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) announced today that it is accepting nominations for the second annual Biotech Humanitarian Award. The Award will be given to an individual who, through their work in or support of biotechnology, has begun to harness its potential heal, fuel or feed the planet.
“Every day, biotech innovators work hard to unlock solutions to global issues,” said Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of BIO. “Through the Biotech Humanitarian Award, we can spotlight their efforts to demonstrate biotech’s vital role in helping heal, fuel and feed the world.”
The Humanitarian Award honors work that aims to significantly reduce human suffering or enhance the human experience in a way that has a clear and direct benefit to society. Additional consideration will be given to approaches that are at a turning point and may potentially have immeasurable influence.
The inaugural Award was bestowed upon Dr. Jay Keasling, CEO of the Joint BioEnergy Institute, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering at the University of California at Berkley and acting Deputy Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Dr. Keasling was honored for his break-through work in synthetic biology, that at commercial scale, will allow for lower cost access to first-line treatment for malaria, as well significantly advance production of the next generation of biofuels.
“The Biotech Humanitarian Award provides our industry with the opportunity to recognize an individual whose work clearly demonstrates the extraordinary positive impact that biotechnology can have on our society by improving our health , our food supply and our environment," said Stephen A. Sherwin, M.D., Chairman of BIO`s Board of Directors and Chairman and CEO of Cell Genesys, Inc.
The Award and a prize of $10,000 will be presented at the 2010 BIO International Convention, in Chicago, Illinois, May 3-6, 2010. Nominations are open to all individuals and can be accessed via iambiotech.org/award. Nominees will be evaluated and judged on the following criteria: Impact on future generations; Impact on contemporary society; Contribution to the field of biotechnology; and Level of innovation exhibited.
Qualified nominees for the Biotech Humanitarian Award will be professionals in the biotechnology field including scientists, researchers, academics, entrepreneurs, financiers, philanthropists, educators, advocates and others who have added value to society through their pursuit of biotechnology processes.
BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.