WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 14, 2006) – Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President & CEO Jim Greenwood today announced that global energy group BP has become the first fully integrated energy company to become a member of BIO. “BP joins a growing list of forward-looking companies in BIO’s Industrial and Environmental Section, all of whom recognize the key role industrial biotechnology will play in transforming how we produce fuels and consumer products in the 21st century. BIO’s Industrial and Environmental Section member companies are all committed to renewable energy production and sustainable industrial development and they recognize industrial biotechnology is a key driver for a cleaner, greener and more secure future,” Greenwood stated.
“BP is the first major integrated energy company to join BIO, signaling an important shift in fuels production that will couple biotechnology with the use of renewable agricultural feedstocks. Twenty years of research in genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics is now paying off, and industrial biotechnology is the enabling technology behind this shift,” Greenwood continued.
Steve Koonin, BP’s Chief Scientist said, “BP and its more than 100,000 employees operating across some 100 countries are pleased to become members of the Biotechnology Industry Organization. We have joined because we believe that biotechnology will be an important route to new sources of secure and sustainable energy in the coming decades. We are investing substantially in alternative energy and have just launched a dedicated biofuels business to exploit advances in the biosciences -- it will be a very exciting part of BP’s future.”
BP’s membership in BIO follows their announcement today of a $500 million investment to establish an Energy Biosciences Institute, as part of its continuing drive to find longer term commercial alternatives to oil and gas. This research institute will add to BP’s investment in alternative energy and sustainable development, which already includes introduction of E10 at its fueling stations throughout the world and production of ethanol.
Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s IES, stated, “Industrial biotechnology has reached a tipping point as biological processes add tremendous value to industries utilizing biotech processes to make fuels and chemicals. BP’s membership in BIO is a clear sign of the importance of biotech as an enabling technology. Renewable energy and chemical production is now leading the way in this new industrial revolution that is based on evolution and prevention of pollution.”
BIO’s Industrial and Environmental Section (IES) is one of four sections within BIO’s governance structure; the others are Health, Food and Agriculture, and Emerging Companies. The IES comprises companies that develop and utilize biotech-improved microbes or enzymes to convert agricultural crops and crop residues to biofuels, biocatalysis to produce a host of chemical and industrial goods, and enzymes for cleaner manufacturing processes.
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.