BIO Support Deployment of Biotech Chemical Platforms

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Thursday, March 11, 2010) - Federal tax policies should incentivize commercial deployment of advanced industrial biotechnologies, which can create jobs, reduce reliance on petroleum, and achieve greenhouse gas reductions. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today released a white paper on the growth and jobs potential of green chemicals and briefed Congressional staff on the commercial status of industrial biotechnologies for algae applications, biobased products, and advanced biofuels.

Brent Erickson, executive vice president for BIO’s Industrial and Environmental Section, stated, “Over the last two decades, competitive advantage for petroleum-derived chemicals and plastics manufacturing has shifted away from the United States, and consequently domestic employment in the sector has dropped. Biobased chemicals and plastics can supplement or replace a wide variety of petroleum-based products, and the United States has a substantial potential competitive advantage in their manufacture. Growth of this industry can produce high-paying green jobs across the United States, just as advanced biofuel production.”

BIO’s white paper, Biobased Chemicals and Products: A New Driver of U.S. Economic Development and Green Jobs, shows that even in its nascent state, the biobased chemicals and plastics industry accounts for over 5,700 direct jobs and is likely responsible for over 40,000 jobs economy wide. Total U.S. employment in the sector declined by 20 percent over past two decades. A recent report commissioned by BIO, U.S. Economic Impact of Advanced Biofuels Production, projects that development of advanced biorefineries could create as many as 29,000 jobs over the next few years.”

Erickson concluded, “Innovation in the chemical industry has been stagnant for years and industrial biotechnology is changing that. The United States is a world leader in developing industrial biotechnology for biofuels, biobased products, and green chemicals. Deployment of the technology can restore U.S. economic competitiveness in the chemical industry, contribute to renewed, sustainable economic growth, and create or save jobs in the sector.”

BIO’s proposals for Congressional policy options include:

  • Fund development and deployment programs for biobased products and renewable specialty chemicals;
  • Provide product parity and early-stage support for biobased products through both a production and an early-stage R&D tax credit;
  • Open existing DOE and USDA loan guarantee programs to biobased product projects
  • Open existing cellulosic biofuels tax credits to algae-based biofuels and extend the credits through 2017;
  • Double funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture programs to deploy cellulosic feedstocks; include eligibility for value-added biobased materials, products and chemicals;
  • Fund the reverse auction for cellulosic biofuels already incorporated in law.

For copies of Biobased Chemicals and Products: A New Driver of U.S. Economic Development and Green Jobs or U.S. Economic Impact of Advanced Biofuels Production, please contact Paul Winters at or 202-962-9237, or visit


Upcoming BIO Events

BIO-Europe Spring
March 8-10, 2010
Barcelona, Spain

BIO Intellectual Property Counsels Spring Conference and Committee Meeting
April 19-21, 2010
New Orleans, LA

Partnering for Global Health
May 3, 2010
Chicago, IL
McCormick Place Convention Center

BIO International Convention
May 3-6, 2010
Chicago, IL
McCormick Place Convention Center

2010 BIO Human Resources Conference
May 4-7, 2010
Chicago, IL

World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing
June 27-30, 2010
Washington, DC

BIO’s Livestock Biotechnology Summit
September 28-30, 2010,
Sioux Falls, SD