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Posted: November 16, 2007
Renewable fuels, environmental concerns drive rapid advances in biotechnology
(Nanowerk News) Rapid advances in biofuel research and development are being driven by concerns about the environment and the need for renewable fuels, according to top industry and government officials from China, Canada, the United States and Hawaii attending the second annual Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy.
The second annual Summit gathered 340 biotechnology and bioenergy business executives, scientists, academics, and government officials in Honolulu to review progress in developing the bioenergy industry. The conference was hosted by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the American Chemical Society and the State of Hawaii.
"Building new business partnerships within the bioenergy industry, particularly along the Pacific Rim, was a primary objective of the Summit," said Erickson. "As we heard from our plenary speakers, government policies that support development of the industry, which are being driven by concerns about the environment and future economic growth, have been vital in attracting the private investment needed to make this industry successful. Pacific Rim countries have been in the lead in implementing these policies."
The Summit featured more than 100 presentations from researchers and scientists, discussing biotechnology applications in energy, marine biotechnology, fine chemicals, and biobased products. The Summit also facilitated more than 45 meetings between companies seeking partnerships for the commercialization of new bioenergy research and applications.
"The Pacific Rim Summit showcased the latest biotech advances in feedstocks, production processes and novel biobased products," said Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO's Industrial and Environmental Section. "Attendees learned about new areas being explored for bioenergy applications, including marine biotechnology, nanotechnology and synthetic genomics."
Keynote speakers at the summit included Jiayang Li, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and James Spaeth, manager of biomass research at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), who outlined their respective governments' programs to support development of the biofuel industry in the opening session, titled "The Status of Biofuels Development in the Pacific Rim."
BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the annual BIO International Convention, the global event for biotechnology. www.bio.org -0- *T Upcoming BIO Events