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#BIOWC16 Closes: Recap and Highlights

April 21, 2016
The 2016 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology drew around 907 industry leaders  from 529 companies, 32 countries and 31 states, as well as the District of Columbia. This year BIO had around 64 academics attend, a large increase from prior conferences. The World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology hosted more than 1,961 partnering meetings, nearly a 40% increase from the 2015 BIO World Congress!
 “For the first time, this year’s BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology brought together presenters right out of the tech transfer phase of development, so attendees had a front row seat to the latest industry innovations. It looked very much like the start of a new cycle of commercialization right here at the World Congress,” said Brent Erickson, Executive Vice President, Industrial & Environmental Section at BIO.

The World Congress featured a dynamic group of plenary speakers from Astronaut Catherine “Cady” Coleman, PhD, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to Michael “Miki” Knutzen, Global Program Director, PlantBottle, The Coca-Cola Companyto Jonathan S. Wolfson, Chief Executive Officer of TerraVia.

Educational programming included 280 speakers and 48 sessions in 8 educational tracks which addressed the latest in Advanced Biofuels and Biorefinery Platforms; Algae, Biomass Supply and Specialty Crops; Growing Global Biobased Markets; Renewable Chemical and Biobased Materials; Research Presentations; Specialty Chemicals, Food & Nutritional Ingredients; Synthetic Biology and Genomics Research; and Technical Presentations. For more session highlights and editorial, visit

The BIO Exhibition featured more than 40 exhibitors and sold over 5,000 square feet.

To help kick off the Conference, BIO hosted a pre-conference Workshop titled “Growing a Billion Ton Bioeconomy in the United States,” which spurred discussion on the potential to grow the national bioeconomy. BIO also held a workshop titled “What Investors Require When Making a Bioeconomy Investment” that focused on a series of crucial decisions potential investors consider when determining whether or not to invest in a company or technology. BIO’s final Workshop looked at how to “Build a Young Scientist Pipeline for a More Diverse Science Future.”

BIO also held an Intellectual Property Symposium as part of the 13th Annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology. The IP Symposium: “Where IP meets IB” took place on April 20, 2016 and consisted of two panels of experts who highlighted the value of intellectual property in industrial biotechnology.

BIO named J.Craig Venter, Ph.D as the recipient of its 2016 George Washington Carver Award for innovation in industrial biotechnology. Dr. Venter is founder and president of the J. Craig Venter Institute as well as Synthetic Genomics Inc., a privately held company developing and commercializing genomic-driven solutions to address global energy and environmental challenges. After receiving the award at the World Congress, Venter provided heartwarming remarks to attendees.

BIO also awarded Anna Rath, Chief Executive Officer of NexSteppe, with the prestigious BIO Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology. This award was established to put the spotlight on a pioneering woman in the industrial biotechnology sector who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the biobased economy and biotech innovation. Her remarks will be available here later this week.

Lastly, BIO presented Dr. Ganesh Kishore, CEO of MLSCFI and co-Managing Partner of Spruce Capital Partners, the first annual BIO Leadership and Legacy Award during the Conference. The new award was created to honor an individual who has shown exemplary leadership and who has dedicated a significant portion of their career to advancing industrial biotechnology and growing the biobased economy.

For BIO 2016 videophotos, and more, visit

The 2017 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology will take place July 23-26 in Montréal, Canada at the Palais des congrès de Montréal (Montreal Convention Center).