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Countdown to Convention (part II)

May 14, 2009
Hosted by BIO, the global event for biotechnology will take place May 18-21, 2009, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga., and is expected to draw 15,000 industry leaders from around the world.

The convention program will feature more than 150 sessions in 21 breakout session tracks highlighting the latest information and the newest opportunities for executives, investors, scientists, policy leaders, and media from around the world. More than 1,000 speakers will share breakthroughs in medicine, diagnostics, the environment, energy production, food and agriculture and more.  For more information, visit our convention website at

As BIO heads to Atlanta for its 2009 International Convention, we highlight below the key Food and Agriculture sessions:

  • Leadership Summit: Biotechnology and Sustainability Meeting Tomorrow’s Food and Fuel Needs (Monday, May 18, 1:00pm - 5:00 pm) This special session considers the unique challenges of sustainability in the 21st century and the solutions that modern biotechnology can offer towards meeting increasing demands for food and fuel.

  • The Value Proposition for Next-Generation Energy Crops: Value Chain and Business Model Considerations (Tuesday, May 19, 2009, 8:00am - 9:30am) Representatives from both development and commercial-stage energy feedstock companies will share lessons learned and possible solutions to develop a sustainable business model for their products.

  • Global Product Stewardship (Tuesday, May 19, 2009, 10:00am - 11:30am) This facilitated round table discussion and working session will cover successes, challenges and forward looking initiatives, including Excellence Through StewardshipSM, in agricultural biotechnology. 

  • Public-Private Partnerships in Agricultural Biotechnology: Going Beyond Development Impact (Tuesday, May 19, 2009, 2:00pm-3:30pm) This session will focus on how to structure public-private partnerships in agricultural biotechnology so as to maximize their development impact and technology adoption while also increasing the likelihood that private partners will want to participate.

  • Saving Harvests, Lives & Livelihoods: Breakthroughs in Plant Stress Tolerance Technologies (Tuesday, May 19, 2009, 4:00pm - 5:30pm) This session will spotlight innovative abiotic stress tolerance researchers who are uncovering new ways biotechnology can help protect valuable yields and offer novel solutions across crops and around the world.

  • Ag Biotech - Improving Farmers Lives (Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 8:00am - 9:30am) This session offers first-hand perspectives from growers around the world who will talk about the impact of biotechnology on farms of all sizes.

  • Press Conference:  Environmental and Socio-Economic Benefits of Biotech Crops (Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 10:00am - 11:00am) At this BIO press conference, Graham Brookes, Director of PG Economics Ltd. (UK) will present some of the key findings of its latest global impact study. Three growers from around the world will be on-hand to give a first-hand perspective on biotech’s benefits to farmers.

  • Genetically Engineered Animals (Livestock) and Public Health (Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 10:00am - 11:30am) This session features scientific experts who will explain the potential of genetically engineered livestock to transform public health through biomedical, food and environmental applications.

  • Challenges and Solutions in Commercializing Genetically Engineered Animals and their Products (Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 2:00pm - 3:30pm) This session will highlight current and future challenges that face the animal biotechnology industry and identify solutions towards commercializing these beneficial products and technologies.

  • Advances and Opportunities for AgBiotech in Latin America (Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 4:00pm - 5:30pm) The panel will present an update on recent research, industrial and regulatory advances in agricultural biotechnology in Latin America with the purpose of identifying substantial opportunities.

  • The Bio-Based Economy is Now (Thursday, May 21, 2009, 8:00am - 9:30am) From food, to fuel, to packaging, clothing and cosmetics, materials derived from biotech are beginning to have a positive effect on our economy and the environment.  This panel will discuss the benefits of bio-based products as well as the challenges and misinformation that could dampen government and societal support.

  • Plant Science Technologies:  Recent Advances That Will Change Our World (Thursday, May 21, 2009, 10:00am - 11:30am) This session will explore recent developments in plant made pharmaceuticals, plant science technologies for food and fuel production, and how to best leverage our agricultural resources for strategic options in the future.

  • Environment, Economy and Society: Plant Biotechnology's Role in Advancing Sustainable Development (Thursday, May 21, 2009, 2:00pm - 3:30pm)  This panel will explore how current and future agricultural biotechnology varieties used to produce food, fuel, feed, and fiber crops globally help reduce the environmental footprint of agriculture, and where there is room for improvement.

  • Legal and Regulatory Threats to Agricultural Biotechnology in the United States (Thursday, May 21, 2009, 4:00pm - 5:30pm) This panel will examine recent legal and regulatory developments (e.g., lawsuits under the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act) that threaten to undermine agricultural biotechnology in the United States.

Look for our convention coverage on our website at or on our new BIOtech Now site at!