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#BIOWC17 Comes to a Close: Recap and Highlights

July 27, 2017
The 2017 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology concluded yesterday at the Palais des congrès de Montréal in Montréal, Québec, Canada. The 14th annual BIO World Congress was held July 23-26 and drew 954 attendees. The world’s largest industrial biotechnology event featured 227 speakers in breakout sessions, hosted seven education tracks and five plenaries, and set a new record for partnering meetings!

“From the robust plenary sessions to the record number of partnering meetings, the 2017 BIO World Congress was a resounding success,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section. “This event continues to provide industry executives, investors, policy makers and academics the best opportunity to form connections and partnerships that will drive growth in the sector for years to come.”

During the three-day conference, hundreds of delegates participated in 2,130 partnering meetings, setting a new record for the event. The number of partnering meetings facilitated by BIO’s One-on-One Partnering™ system represented a 9 percent increase from 2016.

BIO and sponsor IowaBio presented the 2017 George Washington Carver Award for Innovation in Industrial Biotechnology to POET CEO and Chairman Jeff Broin. BIO established this annual award 10 years ago to recognize significant contributions by individuals in the field of industrial biotechnology and its application in biological engineering, environmental science, biorefining, and biobased products.

BIO and sponsor The Rosalind Franklin Society also presented the 2017 Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology to industry veteran Vonnie Estes. The award is presented to an outstanding woman in the industrial biotechnology sector who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the biobased economy and biotech innovation. Estes is the fourth recipient of the annual award.

BIO also honored Dr. Gord Surgeoner, OOnt, with its second annual BIO Leadership and Legacy Award in Industrial Biotechnology.

Photos of the 2017 BIO World Congress are available on the official BIO Flickr account. Videos of the award presentations are available on BIO’s YouTube channel. For session highlights, visit

The 2018 BIO World Congress will be held July 16-19, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sign up here to receive updates and breaking news about next year’s event!