BIO Thanks Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, Energy Secretary Chu for Biomass Program and R&D Grants


For Immediate Release


Contact Paul Winters


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Thursday, May 05, 2011) - The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today thanked Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Energy Secretary Steven Chu on the announcement of Biomass Research And Development Initiative grants and the establishment of a Biomass Crop Assistance Plan project area. BIO congratulated member companies Cellana LLC of Hawaii and Metabolix Inc. of Massachusetts on receiving awarded grants.

Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial and Environmental Section, stated, “Biotechnology, biomass production and biofuels are keys to creating good rural and urban jobs in research, development, manufacturing, agricultural production and forestry. These research and development projects can help create the necessary value chain for biomass to be used for advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals and bioenergy.

“Growing, harvesting and converting biomass into fuels, energy, and chemicals could add $230 billion to the global economy by 2020. Advanced biofuel production could create hundreds of thousands of jobs for researchers, plant operators, and construction workers. And growing biomass for these biorefineries can add jobs in rural areas where economic development is most needed.

“BIO and its member companies thank Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Energy Secretary Steven Chu for their leadership in making this a reality.”