WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 1, 2006) – The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) is hosting the CEO & Investor Conference Feb. 14-15 at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in New York City, which will include a panel on opportunities for investment in industrial biotech and new energy technologies. President Bush in his State of the Union speech highlighted the need to develop alternatives to foreign oil and fossil fuels to address soaring transportation fuel costs. Investing in production of ethanol from corn and cellulosic ethanol from agricultural wastes can reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.
Commenting on Bush’s speech, Jim Greenwood, president & CEO of BIO, said, “The Advanced Energy Initiative proposed by the President will increase America’s competitiveness by providing clean, affordable energy sources that will enable us to lessen our dependence on foreign oil through biotechnology. Using crop wastes, we can produce tens of billions of gallons of ethanol. We could produce 25 percent of our transportation fuel need by 2015 if we dramatically ramp up biorefinery development.”
With new industrial biotechnology processes currently available that use enzymes to convert crops and crop wastes to fermentable sugars, the United States could produce over 70 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol a year from crop residues, such as corn stover and stalks, sugar cane bagasse, wheat straw and rice straw. Converting crop residues to transportation fuel has the added benefit of providing enough feedstock to produce 25 to 50 percent of U.S. transportation fuel needs while also producing billions of dollars in extra income for farmers and rural economies.
Experts predict 2006 will be the tipping point for industrial biotechnology as biological processes replace chemical processes in manufacturing, pharmaceutical and energy production and add tremendous value to industries converting to biotech processes. The BIO CEO & Investor Conference will feature an Industrial Biotech Analyst and Investor Track from 8:50 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 14 in the Empire Room.
The briefing will begin with a panel presentation, titled “2006: The Tipping Point for Industrial Biotechnology,” and continue with presentations by executives from seven U.S. industrial biotechnology companies. Panel participants include Roger Wyse, managing director, Burrill & Company; Matthew Chervenak, president, General Biologic; James Stoppert, senior director, industrial bioproducts development, Cargill, Inc.; and Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section.
Executives from DSM, Codexis, Novozymes North America, Metabolix, Dyadic International, DuPont and Diversa will give presentations about their companies’ industrial biotechnology activity.
BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.