When Joachim Schneider (Head of Life Sciences for Bayer Crop Science and BIO’s new Chairman for Food & Ag) opened the panel on “Agricultural Production: Meeting the Sustainability Challenge,” he made it clear that today’s challenge is to increase productivity and while dealing with climate change. Will future production keep pace with demand? How can we meet food and fuel challenges? “We need to marry global science with global scale to produce global increases in yield,” says John Pierce of Du Pont Life Sciences. DuPont/Pioneer thinks yields will need to increase no less than 40 percent over the next 10 years for both corn and soybeans. We need a second green revolution. We need government, society, industry and academia to work together, and we need to use all technologies available. Biotech is an essential tool in the toolbox. Biotech presents the greatest opportunity to improve crop yields in Africa, Brazil, East and Southern Asian. But biotech acceptance must remain a global effort. Global food security remains an objective, not an accomplishment. There are multiple benefits of biofuels production: It reduces the need for imported petroleum – which has national security implications – and helps reduce the trade deficit. It can also offset the use of petroleum and chemical-based fuels. For biofuels production, the United States has an advantage in land area and technology. The next generation of biofuels will improve existing ethanol production by increasing feedstocks yields. New fuels (including cellulosics, advanced cellulosic from corn stover and switchgrass) will improve performance. And technological- driven improvements will help increase crop yields. We’ll see massive improvements over the next five years, and we’ll need predictable policy to ensure progress.

--Val Giddings

Sustainable agriculture is the basis for sustainable biofuels, says John Pierce, VP, DuPont Applied Biosciences - Technology. Biotechnology applications can help to reduce energy costs and increase yields in biofuel production

Welcome to this special edition of the IP Think Tank podcast for Monday the 18th of May 2009.  In this call Duncan speaks to Gregory Glover, a panelist at the 2009 BIO International Convention about the pending Biosimilar legislation and concerns over situations where a follow on product might avoid patent claims but still be able to rely on innovatory regulatory data.

By Terri Somers - In these serious times, up to 15,000 biotechnology executives from around the globe are descending upon Atlanta today to do some serious business at the 2009 BIO International Convention. In this difficult economic climate, with a new administration focusing on healthcare reform and the world getting a glimpse of what a flu pandemic could look like, there are plenty of issues for the biotechnology industry to tackle.

The Biotechnology Industry Organization's international convention comes to town amid global economic woes - not to mention trailing fears of the H1N1 swine flu epidemic - yet the industry's enthusiasm for the annual event remains as high as ever, perhaps even more so in the face of tough challenges ahead. As many predicted, attendance for this year's meeting is down about 35 percent to 40 percent from the number of people that attended last year's convention in San Diego.

Last night research, industry and politics got together at Dailey's in Atlanta for a little meeting. It was actually a networking reception but let's face it, we were all about ensuring the wheels of biotechnology kept turning in Canada.

Author:  Dr. Carolyn Britton, President, National Medical Association

Measures of student achievement nationally suggest that states are not measuring up in terms of overall science and life science education.

BIOtech Now interviews Stephanie Adams, executive director of Southeast BIO. She discusses the growth of the biotechnology sector in the Southeast, the upcoming 2009 BIO International Convention in Atlanta, and the SE BIOtech Connect database of the more than 1,200 life sciences companies and research institutions in the Southeast. Download or listen to the program.

BIO has selected six companies as finalists in the "Be the Buzz of BIO" contest - see who made the list below! Now it's time to vote for your favorite - just go to Voting is open until April 17. The finalist with the most votes will be chosen and notified on or about April 21st. Finalists: AMRI Archimedes Inc. Biobide S.L. Impact Systems Koronic Pharmaceuticals Zenda Technologies