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#BIOWC18 | Day 3 Wrap-Up

July 19, 2018
The last day of the 2018 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology wrapped up Thursday, July 19, with a half-day of programming and partnering, packed with breakout sessions, company and technical presentations, a lunch plenary and the announcement of the third annual Leadership and Legacy Award in Industrial Biotechnology and Agriculture recipient.

The BIO World Congress continues to be the largest industrial biotechnology conference in the world, and this year’s event included 44 percent attendance from outside the United States. In addition, more than 100 companies descended on Philadelphia for the event.

Leadership and Legacy Award in Industrial Biotechnology and Agriculture

Dr. Larry Walker, co-editor and chief of the journal “Industrial Biotechnology,” was honored as the recipient of the Leadership and Legacy Award during the lunch plenary session. The award is presented to 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.

In accepting the award, Dr. Walker reflected on his time as an academic, studying and working closely with several American universities and noted the industry’s influence on his success.

“You folks have had a big impact on how I think about innovation, probably more so than my academic colleagues, probably because you’re out there doing it,” said Dr. Walker to the crowd. “It’s the people here that has had a major impact.”

Industrial Biotechnology Innovation for Ag Feedstock Production Applications Plenary

Following the award presentation, attendees heard from a collection of experts during the “Industrial Biotechnology Innovation for Ag Feedstock Production Applications” plenary session.

During the plenary, each panelist discussed their company’s innovations and efforts in industrial biotechnology. The panel included representatives from agricultural and environment companies as well as Jenny Rooke with Genoa Ventures, a company that invests in early-stage companies innovating at the intersection of biology and technology.

Rooke summed up the conference best when noting “It’s a really exciting time to be working in industrial biotechnology.”

Breakout Sessions, Company and Technical Presentations, Raffles and more

And even though Thursday was technically a half-day, programming was not lacking. Attendees continued to take in breakout sessions and company and technical presentations.

From discussions about the overall biobased economy, to microbial solutions to advance agriculture sustainability, to renewable chemicals and synthetic biology, Thursday’s breakout sessions again included something for anyone working in industrial biotechnology.

During company and technical presentations, Andy Renz of Vestaron presented on his company’s peptide-based biopesticides. Comparing his company’s technology to current synthetic and microbial forms, Renz noted that Vestaron’s biopesticide is scalable, efficient, low-cost and safe, and be an alternative to chemical insecticides, which has faced significant market challenges.

And as part of the last day of the BIO World Congress, Chris Smith of Gevo, Inc. was announced as the winner of the Feedback Raffle and went home with a new Fitbit.

Overall, there were over 70 programming sessions, including 28 breakout sessions across seven tracks, more than 20 poster presentations, 10 GreenTech Investor Sessions and four sponsored workshops. Additionally, there were 60 company and technical presentations, with many presentations standing room only.

BIO looks forward to seeing this year’s attendees at the 2019 BIO World Congress in Des Moines, Iowa, July 8-11, 2019. For more information, visit