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

February 22, 2017

Washington, D.C. (February 22, 2017) 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 sustainable products. The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) will begin accepting nominations for the Award today, February 22, 2017. The deadline for nominations is March 10, 2017. The award will be presented at the 2017 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology, which will be held July 23-26, 2017 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal in Montréal, Québec, Canada. 

Brent Erickson, Executive Vice President, Industrial and Environmental at BIO, stated, “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.”

George Washington Carver is an icon of American ingenuity. A botanist and inventor, Carver's research and promotion of alternative crops, such as peanuts, showed 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 here

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 Carver Award are

  • Dr. J. Craig Venter, Co-Founder of Synthetic Genomics and Executive Chairman of Human Longevity in 2016
  • Jonathan S. Wolfson, CEO, Solazyme in 2015
  • Ellen Kullman, CEO & Chair of the Board, DuPont in 2014
  • Dr. Jay Keasling, Hubbard Howe Jr., Distinguished Professor of Biochemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley in 2013
  • Steen Riisgaard, president and CEO of Novozymes in 2012
  •  Feike Sijbesma, CEO, Royal DSM in 2011
  • Gregory Stephanopoulos, the Willard Henry Dow Professor of Chemical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010
  • Charles O. Holliday, Jr., chairman of the board of DuPont in 2009
  • Dr. Patrick Gruber, CEO of Gevo, Inc., in 2008

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

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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