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Iowa Bioeconomy Site Tours @ BIO World Congress

Connor McKoy
Connor McKoy
March 13, 2019

By now you know that the 2019 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Ag Tech is being hosted in Des Moines. As a result, the world’s largest industrial bioech conference will feature new programming to showcase the roots of biotechnology, but there are limitations as to how much Midwest innovation we can showcase within the walls of the Iowa Events Center.

That’s why BIO is excited to announce that four bioeconomy tours will be offered at #BIOWC19, starting the first day of the conference and scheduled throughout. From academia to mid-size companies to larger organizations with headquarters around the world, each tour will provide a unique glimpse into the innovation in the region.

You’ll want to make sure you arrive on Sunday, July 7, in Des Moines because the first tour kicks off at 8 AM on Monday morning, July 8.

Scaling from Lab to Field: Bioproduct Development at Iowa State University

 Iowa consistently ranks as the top corn producing state in the U.S. year over year, but the work to turn corn into biofuels and other biobased products doesn’t happen in the field. Biotech innovations are happening in labs and research centers across the state. This includes Iowa State University’s Biorenewables Research Laboratory (BRL) and their BioCentury Research Farm.

From 8 AM – noon on Monday, July 8, attendees will get the chance to tour the two facilities and learn about the integrated research being conducted at ISU and why the state’s largest public university is internationally recognized as the home of cutting-edge bioeconomy science and engineering.

Bayer and Corteva Agriscience Innovations Two-Stop Tour

In addition to b eing in Des Moines, #BIOWC19 will feature new programming around food and agriculture. To complement this new track, BIO is offering an all- day tour on Monday, July 8, of both Corteva Agriscience and Bayer Crop Science facilities around Des Moines.

Ed note: Iowa State University’s tour conflicts with this tour. Attendees can only attend one of these two tours.

On the Bayer tour, attendees will explore two sites. A short drive north on interstate 69 from downtown Des Moines, Bayer’s AnkenyFacility will give attendees a glimpse into the company’s work in molecular breeding and plant science and analytics. At the Huxley facility, located just a dozen miles north of Ankeny, attendees will learn about Bayer’s agronomy work, as well as plant breeding and digital sciences.

Heading west, this agriculture-focused tour will then take you to Corteva Agriscience’s Global Business Center for research. Here, attendees will discover the company’s state-of-the-art seed treatment facility and witness agronomy demonstrations, including the history of corn and new and upcoming products.

Moving Fuel Forward: A Look Into the Modern Biofuels Industry With Renewable Energy Group (REG)

Harvests from Iowa and the Midwest can not only fuel our world, but the biofuels created from these crops can also reduce the transportation sector’s impact on the environment.

On Thursday, July 11, from 10 AM – noon, guests will get the chance to embark on a visit to Renewable Energy Group’s (REG) Newton facility. As North America’s largest producer of cleaner, lower carbon advanced biofuels, REG will demonstrate the product process for biodiesel from start to finish. Tour attendees will also hear from REG leaders and learn about rich history of the biofuels industry – a history that is still being written.

Transforming Biorefining: An Inside View of One of the World’s Largest Biorefinery Facilities at Cargill 

In the heart of the corn belt, the world’s largest biorefineries help transform the bioeconomy at a global scale. On Thursday, July 11 from 10 AM – 4:30 PM, #BIOWC19 attendees will get to explore Cargill’s Bioprocessing Center in Eddyville, IA, which is one of three in the region. On the tour, you will get a first-hand view of how a biorefinery operates, gain an understanding of the scale required for a global operation, learn about collaborative relationships involved in operating a biorefinery as well as how biorefineries make a significant impact on local communities, end-market applications, and related industries.

Tour Tips

Before you register for any of the tours, however, check out our tour tips to make sure you’re ready to roll out.

  • Attendees must be registered for the BIO World Congress in order to attend the Iowa Bioeconomy Site Tours.
  • Tour attendees must pick up their BIO World Congress prior to boarding the tour bus.
  • Please arrive 20 minutes before your tour’s scheduled departure tour to check-in. Attendees will be required to show their BIO World Congress badge to board the bus.
  • Due to security reasons, tour attendees must bring US domestic photo ID (driver's liscense or state ID) or international passports in order to participate on tours.
  • Due to safety concerns, tour sites will enforce a strict dress code. All tour attendees will be required to where covered shoes and long pants. Open toe shoes, heels, skirts or shorts will not be permitted. Attendees that are wearing any of the above will not be permitted to tour site facilities.

Click here for more information about the Iowa Bioeconomy Site Tours at the 2019 BIO World Congress. Don’t miss out and start registering for the bioeconomy tours today! Please email with any questions.