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

February 1, 2016

Washington, D.C. (February 01, 2016) --  The ninth annual George Washington Carver Award will recognize an individual who has made a significant contribution to building the biobased economy by applying industrial biotechnology to create sustainable and environmentally friendlier products. The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) will begin accepting nominations for the Award today, February 01, 2016. The deadline for nominations is February 20, 2016. The 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.

“Through his accomplishments and standing in the academic community, George Washington Carver became an important figure in American history. His lifelong work created new economic opportunities for farmers,” stated Brent Erickson, Executive Vice President, Industrial and Environmental at BIO.  “Our annual award honors George Washington Carver as one of the founding fathers of modern industrial biotechnology. His efforts during the first half of the 20th century to develop new commercial products from agriculture and new sources of income for farmers have inspired modern industrial biotechnology companies to develop more sustainable, biobased products.”

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. 

BIO’s annual George Washington Carver Award serves 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.

More information about the nomination process is available at 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.

The George Washington Carver Award is also sponsored by the Iowa Biotechnology Association.

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

All programs at the World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology are open to attendance by members of the media. Complimentary media registration is available to editors and reporters working full time for print, broadcast or web publications with valid press credentials.

For more information on the conference, please visit  For assistance, please contact

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