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BIO Selects Des Moines as Venue for the 2019 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology

February 26, 2018

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 26, 2018) – The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) today announced the selection of Des Moines, Iowa, as the location for the 2019 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology. The event will be held July 8-11, 2019 and it will host industry executives, investors, policy makers and academics from around the world and will feature the BIO One-on-One Partnering™ system.

Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, said, “BIO is extremely pleased to work with our state affiliate IowaBio and the Iowa Economic Development Authority to bring the annual BIO World Congress to Des Moines for the very first time. Iowa is a natural leader in the growing biobased economy – with a large number of biobased product manufacturers, as well as renewable chemical and biofuel producers – making it a great location for the world’s largest industrial biotechnology conference. The BIO World Congress draws delegations from around the world every year. With robust educational programming and partnering opportunities, this event provides industry executives and investors opportunities to connect and drive additional growth in the sector.”

"Given Iowa’s preeminent position in the industrial biotechnology sector, there is no better venue to host this important forum than Iowa,” said Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. “This will provide us with an excellent opportunity to showcase our state’s competitive advantages to a globally respected audience and demonstrate that Iowa is indeed at the epicenter of this important industry.”

Joe Hrdlicka, executive director of the Iowa Biotechnology Association (IowaBio), added, “Iowa is home to a strong biotechnology sector, world-class universities and an unparalleled agriculture industry. We look forward to bringing business leaders, diplomats and researchers from around the world together to continue building the biobased economy.”

Key facts about Iowa’s biobased economy:

  • Iowa has 1,266 bioscience businesses, which employed nearly 25,000 people as of 2014.

  • Iowa ranks first among Midwestern states in academic bioscience R&D expenditures per capita.

  • Iowa has the ability to harvest 14.4 million dry tons of biomass per year (including total cellulosic and crop biomass).

  • Iowa has a significant number of companies engaged in manufacturing renewable chemicals, and the state has implemented a Renewable Chemicals Production Tax Credit that incentivizes production of 30 high-value chemicals derived from biomass.

  • Iowa has 43 operating ethanol biorefineries, collectively producing over 26 percent of total U.S. ethanol output.

  • Iowa has 12 biodiesel refineries, collectively producing 17 percent of total U.S. biodiesel output.

The 2018 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology will be held July 16-19, 2018, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

All programs at the 2018 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology are open to members of the media. Complimentary media registration is available to editors and journalists working full time for print, broadcast or web publications with valid press credentials. Videos of the event may be available on BIO’s YouTube channel, following the event.

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

About BIO

BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.

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