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BIO Announces Plenary Session Speakers for the 2016 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology

March 23, 2016

Washington, D.C. (March 23, 2016) The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) announces that executives, thought leaders, and government  officials will discuss applications in space, biofuels, and the renewable chemical landscape during plenary programs at BIO’s 13th Annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology.  The world’s largest industrial biotechnology event will be held April 17-20, 2016 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA.

“The Plenary Program for the 2016 World Congress is unlike any that we have had in previous years. Sessions will explore the next frontier for industrial biotech and highlight some of the next generation of scientists who will be leading it,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president for BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section. “Attendees will also hear from industry leaders and executives about their work to develop cost-competitive renewable chemicals and biobased products in the face of record low fossil fuel prices and rapidly increasing consumer demand for greener household and personal care products.”

The Plenary Sessions include:

Monday, April 18, 2016
Lunch Plenary Session

Outer Space: The Next Biotech Frontier (Panel Discussion)& Presentation of the BIO George Washington Carver Award for Innovation in Industrial Biotechnology

Our session’s highly esteemed panelists will discuss one of biotech’s most promising areas of growth: applications in space. Topics will include bacteria growth experiments, application of synthetic biology, waste management, forward manufacturing and synthesis, examining the ways in which micro-organisms develop differently in space, exploring the potential markets for space biotechnology from enzyme expression to food development.

Moderator: John Cumbers, Founder, SynBioBeta
  • Catherine “Cady” Coleman, NASA Astronaut
  • Amor Menezes, Postdoctoral Scholar, California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, University of California, Berkeley
  • Todd Peterson, Chief Technology Officer, Synthetic Genomics
  • Mark Blenner, Assistant Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Clemson University
Monday, April 18, 2016
General Plenary Session

Overcoming Challenges to Biorefinery Scale Up

This panel will explore exactly what is needed to ensure the successful scale up of a commercial scale industrial biotechnology process such as advanced biofuels facilities. We will hear from engineering design experts and industry leaders who will discuss issues from scale up successes and failures to process control of biological systems, project execution, overcoming difficulties, and more.

Moderator: Dan Cummings, Chief Executive Officer, Guidewire Strategies
  • Anthony Bresin, Chief Scientific Officer, ARD
  • Jeff Lievense, Senior Engineering Fellow, Genomatica
  • Dennis McGinn, Assistant Secretary of the Navy - Energy, Installations and Environment
  • Alan Propp, Business Development Manager, Merrick & Company
  • Joachim Schulze, Head of Biotechnology, ThyssenKrupp Solutions
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Breakfast Plenary Session
Developing a Renewable Chemical Value Chain in the Face of Low Fossil Fuel Prices

This panel will discuss the latest advances in renewable chemicals, including innovative biological processes, new feedstock inputs, market development and how strategic partnerships are changing the renewable chemicals landscape.

Moderator: Jim Lane, Editor & Publisher, Biofuels Digest
  • Marcel Lubben, President, Reverdia
  • John Melo, President and Chief Executive Officer, Amyris
  • Felipe Pereira, Chemicals Sector, Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES)
  • Alan Shaw, Chief Executive Officer, Calysta
  • Minoru Watari, Team Leader, Mitsui & Co. Ltd.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Lunch Plenary Session

Young Stars in Industrial Biotechnology& Presentation of the BIO Rosalind Franklin Award

This panel will feature dynamic young stars in the industrial biotech space. Speakers will highlight their technology breakthroughs and varied applications of biotechnology they are currently deploying.

Moderator: Stephan Herrera, Vice President, Strategy & Public Affairs, Evolva
  • Jeffrey Dietrich, Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder, Lygos
  • Reshma Shetty, Co-Founder, Ginkgo Bioworks
  •  Dan Widmaeir, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Bolt Threads
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Lunch Plenary Session

Market Growth for Biobased Products in the Consumer Marketplace

The biobased economy is growing, with companies in the space working to develop technologies to make industrial processes and products more eco-efficient.  Technology developers are teaming up with consumer products companies to de-risk and scale up biobased products.  From novel food ingredients, to packaging, to biobased car parts, our panelists will highlight recent biobased innovations, and discuss how to achieve a sustainable commercial scale biobased product industry. 

Moderator: James Iademarco, Principal, Strategic Avalanche LLC

  • ·Stephanie Delalande, Materials Innovation, PSA Peugeot Citreon
  • Claudio Gemmeti, Senior Vice President, Innovation and Strategic Growth, Club Coffee
  • Michael Knutzen, Global Program Director - PlantBottle,  The Coca-Cola Company
  • Jonathan Wolfson, Chief Executive Officer, TerraVia

All programs at the World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology are open to attendance by members of the media. Complimentary media registration is available to editors and reporters working full time for print, broadcast or web publications with valid press credentials.

For more information on the conference, please visit For assistance, please contact

About BIO
BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.

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