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Nominations Now Open for the BIO George Washington Carver Award for Innovation in Industrial Biotechnology

February 1, 2016
Born into slavery, today George Washington Carver is an icon of American ingenuity. He worked to achieve a better life not only for himself but for all African Americans.

A botanist and inventor, Carver's research and promotion of alternative crops, such as peanuts, showed poor farmers how to increase their productivity and opportunities and improve their quality of life. He also developed and promoted more than 100 products made from peanuts and other crops that were useful for the house and farm, including cosmetics, dyes, paints, plastics, gasoline, and nitroglycerin. 

Each year at its annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology, BIO awards one outstanding individual the George Washington Carver Award. The award is intended to serve as a lasting memorial to the original vision of George Washington Carver who, over a century ago, pioneered the creation and commercialization of sustainable biobased products and materials and energy derived from renewable agricultural feedstock.

The winner of this year's award will be presented at the 2016 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in San Diego, California, which will be held April 17-20, 2016 at the San Diego Convention Center.

Past recipients of the George Washington Carver Award include:

  • Ellen Kullman, CEO & Chair of the Board, DuPont

  • Dr. Jay Keasling, Hubbard Howe Jr. Distinguished Professor of Biochemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley

  • Steen Riisgaard, President and CEO of Novozymes

  • Feike Sijbesma, CEO, DSM

  • Dr. Greg Stephanopoulos, Professor of Chemical Engineering, MIT

  • Charles O. Holliday, Jr., CEO & Chair of the Board, DuPont

  • Patrick Gruber, CEO, Gevo, Inc

To learn more about the award or to nominate someone* to receive the George Washington Carver award, visit 

This year's sponsor of the George Washington Carver Award is the Iowa Biotechnology Association.

 *Nominees must be living individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of industrial biotechnology, including applications in biological engineering, environmental science, biorefining and biobased products.