WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 22, 2000) -- BIO announced today that Brent Erickson has been named director of the newly created Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology Section. Industrial biotechnology applications, including many means to prevent pollution in industrial processes, rather than have to clean up after the fact, continue to be discovered and at an accelerated pace, noted Carl B. Feldbaum, president of BIO. We fully recognize this development and are committed to fostering the expansion of industrial biotechnology and its environmental benefits. BIO recruited Brent Erickson to lead this section because of his strong technical expertise in industrial and environmental process, as well as his governmental affairs and public policy experiences.
Erickson comes to BIO after serving for fours years as environmental representative for the American Petroleum Institute (API). Prior to working at API, Erickson served in the U.S. Senate as legislative director to former Senator and assistant Republican Leader Alan K. Simpson (R-WY). Erickson also worked on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for the late Senator John Chafee (R-RI).
Industrial biotechnology involves the use of enzymes as catalysts in industrial processes. The substitution of enzymes for traditional industrial chemicals used in manufacturing can produce enormously positive effects for the environment. For example, bio-engineered enzymes to replace toxic chemicals in making such products as indigo dye, which give blue jeans their color.
During Erickson’s tenure as a legislative director he developed expertise in clean air, climate change, fossil fuels, and hazardous waste issues. Prior to working on Capitol Hill Erickson was employed by the Department of Energy’s Laramie Energy Technology Center.
Erickson, originally from Casper, Wyo., earned a B.S. in Biology and an M.A. in International studies from the University of Wyoming. He is also a member of the board of the Western Research Institute, a not-for-profit laboratory and research facility that develops new energy and environmental technologies associated with the University of Wyoming.
BIO represents more than 900 companies, academic institutions and biotech centers in 47 states and 26 nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental products.