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

BIO announced that it is accepting nominations for the annual George Washington Carver Award to recognize significant contributions by an individual in the field of industrial biotechnology.&nbsp;</p>

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) announced that it is accepting nominations for the annual George Washington Carver Award to recognize significant contributions by an individual in the field of industrial biotechnology, including applications in biological engineering, environmental science, biorefining and biobased products. The award will be presented at the 10th Annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology, to be held June 16-19, 2013 in Montreal, Canada.

 “We are honoring George Washington Carver because he was a leading figure in the early ‘chemurgy’ movement, and really one of one of the founding fathers of modern industrial biotechnology,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO's Industrial & Environmental Section. “Today, his legacy lives on in industrial biotechnology companies that are developing new methods to use renewable agricultural resources to manufacture fuels, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and food ingredients, just as Carver did during the first half of the 20th century. Today’s work remains true to his goal – a sustainable biobased economy that includes production of useful everyday products.”

BIO is now accepting nominations for the George Washington Carver Award. Download the nomination form and email completed forms to Nominees must be living individuals who have demonstrated significant and innovative accomplishments employing industrial biotechnology to advance a biobased economy and industrial sustainability. Written nominations should highlight the contributions the nominee has made in using biotechnology for sustainable production of biobased products, materials and energy. In addition, nominations should include examples of the pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit of the nominee. The deadline for nominations is February 28, 2013.

The award honors the original vision of George Washington Carver who, over a century ago, achieved world renown by using agriculture and science to produce everyday products, changing the nature of farm economics and sustainability. Carver devoted his career to teaching sustainable farming, which for him included developing new uses of agricultural products that could boost farm profits. To help farmers adopt sustainable practices, Carver and his students developed more than 300 industrial uses for peanuts, sweet potatoes, and other crops that could be grown in rotation with cotton and corn. Carver’s inventions included plastics, glue, soaps, paints, dyes for cloth and leather, medicines and cosmetic ingredients made from peanuts, sweet potatoes, or other crops and agricultural residues.

Today, companies are using industrial biotechnology in ways Carver could never have imagined to manufacture plastics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and even food ingredients from renewable agricultural resources. The George Washington Carver Award will honor individuals in the private sector, government or academia who have worked toward the important goal of using biotechnology innovation to develop sustainable bio-based value-chains.

BIO presented the first annual George Washington Carver Award to Dr. Patrick Gruber, CEO, Gevo, Inc., recognizing his accomplishments in creating and commercializing a new plastic made from annually renewable resources. Most recently, BIO honored Novozymes President and CEO Steen Riisgaard as the 2012 winner. Under his leadership, Novozymes is creating tomorrow’s industrial biotechnology solutions and improving the use of our planet’s resources, while reducing reliance on fossil fuels.


The world’s largest industrial biotechnology conference for business leaders, investors, academics and policymakers in biofuels, biobased products, renewable chemicals, synthetic biology, food ingredients and biomass comes to Montreal, Canada, June 16-19 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal. Please visit for additional information, or email

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