Usually, a licensing agreement opens up the door for companies to prosper in the biotech and biofuels world. But an Alabama-based biotechnology company says it is getting a boost from the end of one of its agreements. Inventure Renewables says the mutual termination of its agreement with Alchimia, Inc. for exclusive licensing rights in North and South America will open up Inventure’s patented process technologies possibilities with American agricultural processors and traditional biodiesel manufacturers.
“We’re really motivated for the rapid expansion the retention of our licensing rights will allow,” said John Brown, Inventure Renewables’ Chief Operating Officer. “The extensive corn and soybean processing facilities in the United States will be obvious partners for Inventure, as our technologies will allow them to convert waste streams into revenue streams by turning low or no value biomass into carbon-neutral biofuels, biochemical and biomaterials. The same opportunities will be present in South America, where vast amounts of soy beans and sugar cane are processed.”
Inventure Renewables is currently negotiating with several leading agricultural processors.
Bill Zurn is a farmer from Minnesota who grows soybeans, corns and sugar beets. Last fall he had a chance to go out to the bioheat tour in New York City where they explained why they use Bioheat, a biodiesel blended oil commonly used for heating homes and buildings in the northeast. He said the port authority is also a user of biodiesel in their vehicles.
Zurn said they realized they should invite the group to Minnesota so they could visit some biodiesel plants and soybean farms and learn about how the state makes the biodiesel that is ultimately blended into fuel and Bioheat. This event is the Biodiesel and Bioheat Forum, sponsored by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.
While, Zurn noted the Midwest is not a big user of the heating oil due to lack of concentration in homes, the demand in the northeast continues to grow and he and other growers in Minnesota and helping to meet that demand.
The event is taking place August 19, 2015 in Mankato, Minnesota. Event panelists include: Paul Nazzaro- President of the Nazzaro Group, he represents organizations pursuing commercial market acceptance for their specific fuels; John Huber- President of the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA); and Michael C. Trunzo- President of Northeast Public Affairs, LLC., a government affairs, lobbying and association management firm.
Registration is still open. To learn more about the event listen to Chuck Zimmerman’s interview with Bill Zurn: Bill Zurn Talks Biodiesel & Bioheat Forum
The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) has announced the schedule of workshops for the 2015 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology. These workshops are designed for focused discussions on the newest trends in business strategies, investment opportunities and technology development in industrial biotechnology. The BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology will be held July 19-22, 2015 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal in Montréal, Canada.
“Industrial biotechnology is driving innovation in the chemical industry and biobased industry has shown great potential in creating new jobs and business opportunities across manufacturing, industrial and agricultural sectors in the United States and around the world,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president for BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section. “Government policies supporting the development of biomass and biobased products signals to private investors that there is a strong market for these products. The confluence of policy and investment drives us towards a bioeconomy that can provide better, greener, and more sustainable products that meet consumer demands.”
The workshops will be held on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. Click here for a full list.
Same acronym… new innovative meaning. The Biotechnology Industry Organization… better known as BIO will soon become the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. This news release from BIO says the change is to highlight the scientific innovation the group brings.
“I’m pleased to announce that the BIO Board has approved a change to BIO’s name… from the Biotechnology Industry Organization to the Biotechnology Innovation Organization,” said BIO’s new Board Chair, Ron Cohen, CEO of Acorda Therapeutics. “Still BIO, but now with a name that better expresses the essence of what our member companies represent.”
BIO’s President and CEO, Jim Greenwood added, “This is a great move that will help clarify for policymakers and the public the heart of our industry – scientific innovation that will help to heal, feed and fuel the world. Each day, our members use cutting edge science and technology to deliver game-changing products, therapies and cures to improve the human condition.”
The new name will be launched in early 2016.
Longtime advocate for biobased fuels Iowa Governor Terry Branstad will speak at this summer’s Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) World Congress in Montreal, Canada. This news release from BIO says Branstad is slated to speak during the July 20 plenary session titled, “State and Regional Approaches to Developing the Biobased Economy.”
“Governor Terry Branstad is a true champion of our industry and the creation of a national biobased economy. He has voiced support for the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, advanced policies at the state level for a stronger rural bioeconomy and supported more research to advance second-generation biofuels,” said Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). “BIO could not imagine a better person than Governor Branstad to kick off the world’s largest conference on industrial biotechnology.”
“Governor Branstad has regularly provided leadership in articulating the importance of the biotechnology industry to our state,” said Joe Hrdlicka, executive director, Iowa Biotech Association. “We’re thrilled he will have the opportunity to share Iowa’s vision at such a critical industry event with an international audience.”
“Iowa is the nation’s premier leader in the renewable fuels industry and is capitalizing on its success in agriculture and its research capabilities in plant, animal and human biosciences to build a thriving biosciences industry within the state,” said Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. “Iowa’s bioscience enterprises are discovering the innovations that will spur future economic growth and create jobs, improving the quality of life for people on a global scale — Governor Branstad is poised to tell our story.”
More information on the conference is available at www.bio.org/worldcongress.
This morning during the Farm Progress Show, New Holland hosted a tour of the Iowa State BioCentury Research Farm. New Holland got involved with the project when they saw a need for the use of some of their equipment and loaned them two tractors, which provided new options for their biomass research projects.
The BioCentury Research Farm combines biomass feedstock production, harvesting, storing, transporting and biorefinery processing into a complete system to develop the next generation of biofuels and biobased products. A New Holland large square baler also was provided for a corn stover research project conducted by Matt Darr, an associate professor in agricultural and biosystems engineering.
“Providing the use of this equipment to the Iowa State BioCentury Research Farm helps us strengthen the relationship between New Holland and Iowa State,” says Ron Shaffer, New Holland’s North American Director of Growth Initiatives, Institutional & Specialty Sales. “The participation furthers New Holland’s commitment to the biomass industry and our position as the Clean Energy Leader.”
The New Holland Agriculture loan arose from a tour Andy Suby, manager of the research farm, gave to company officials last year.
“We appreciate the equipment and research funding provided by New Holland Agriculture,” Johnson said. “The BioCentury Research Farm was intended to be a partnership with private companies.”
New Holland Agriculture provides the use of a model T8.330 and a T5.115 tractor with a loader to be used in research and education projects conducted at the facility. The tractors will be replaced with similar models when they reach 200 hours of operation.
The company provided the baler and funding to evaluate its use in baling corn stover for supplying to cellulosic ethanol plants. This “Leading the Bioeconomy Initiative” project was supported by an appropriation from the Iowa legislature. Suby said the possibility for funding more projects with gifts or loans of other equipment has been discussed.
2014 Farm Progress photo album.
A special pre-conference workshop has been added to the World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology that is taking place May 12-15, 2014 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. “U.S. Policy Outlook: From the RFS to Tax Reform to Farm Bill Implementation – What Lies Ahead for Advanced Biofuels and Renewable Chemicals?” is designed to assess the threats and opportunities on the U.S. federal policy landscape for 2014. Issues discussed will include the Farm Bill, tax reform and potential changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
“This robust policy discussion is a great way to start to the world’s largest event on industrial biotechnology. Industrial biotechnology touches all of our lives and changes to these policies could have significant impact the industry’s future growth,” said James Greenwood, President and CEO of Biotechnology Industry Organization. “I am pleased to lead a panel of such prominent policy experts in a conversation during a time when the Renewable Fuel Standard, the Farm Bill and tax reform have become top Congressional priorities, the Obama Administration and key federal agencies.”
Pre-conference Workshop on U.S. policy outlook for industrial biotechnology will be moderated by James Greenwood, President & CEO, Biotechnology Industry Organization, with opening remarks from Representative Allyson Schwartz (D), Member of Congress for Pennsylvania’s 13th District and Candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania (invited). Panelists include James Massie, Alpine Group; Ryan Stroschein, Green Capitol LLC; Tim Urban, Washington Council Ernst & Young; and Dr. Matt Carr, Managing Director, BIO.
A group of industrial biotechnology companies have joined forces to form the Brazilian Industrial Biotechnology Association (in Portuguese ABBI – Associação Brasileira de Biotecnologia Industrial). This new association (ABBI) brings together companies and institutions developing and using microorganisms and its derivatives to deliver renewable products for industries and consumers worldwide. ABBI’s primary objective is to foster a dialogue within Brazilian society about the advancements of industrial biotechnology in Brazil. The founding members of ABBI are Amyris, BASF, BioChemtex, BP, Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira, Dow, DSM, DuPont, GranBio, Novozymes, Raízen and Rhodia.
ABBI will promote a dialogue with stakeholders and policymakers to improve Brazil’s biotechnology regulations and update current legislation in light of technological advances of the last several years. The trade association also believes there is room for improvement in Brazil’s patent laws, particularly as they relate to biological products and processes. The group supports additional investments in research and development, capacity and training for skilled and technical labor, and laboratory infrastructure.
“The establishment of ABBI is important for the Brazilian government as this group is reliable partner in the formulation of a coherent positive agenda, with proposals for the advancement of business and technology,” said Luciano Coutinho, President of the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), who participated at the event launching ABBI yesterday in São Paulo. BNDES has invested R$1.2 billion (about US$540 million) in biotechnology projects in Brazil.
Brazil is one of most biodiversity rich countries in the world and provides good conditions to utilize industrial biotechnology to make significant gains in productivity and competitiveness. The use of such biotechnology can increase productivity, improve process efficiencies, and reduce waste and pollution in Brazil and beyond. Speaking at the event in Brazil yesterday, Professor Greg Stephanopoulos, of the Bioinformatics & Metabolic Engineering Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, stated that industrial biotechnology would help Brazil take a leadership position in the 21st Century global economy.
Renewed World Energies (RWE) has agreed to enter into a partnership with ReVenture Park in Charlotte, North Carolina to develop an algae-to-fuel pilot plant. The Eco-Industrial Park caters to clean energy businesses and will work with RWE to expand its technology from pilot scale to commercial scale. The company is developing different strains of algae that will be utilized to create biofuels as well as health supplements. The pilot facility is expected to be operational September 30, 2012.
There are numerous species of algae and each one has its own unique characteristics. One goal of researchers is to identify and develop strains that are best fits for certain uses, such as to produce jet fuel or for use as a replacement for oil in cosmetics, food and fertilizer. RWE’s system produces algae oil and algae cake, which can be fed as a food supplement to livestock or to make fish feed.
RWE President Richard Armstrong founded his company in South Carolina but chose North Carolina to take it to the next level. “We were attracted to the eco-industrial synergies at ReVenture Park. North Carolina also seems to be more attuned to the renewable fuels, and offers multiple benefits for showcasing new technology.”
ReVenture Park took advantage of nearly 700 acres of abandoned land that was a former textile dye-manufactured site. It is now being transformed into an Eco-Industrial Park focused on research and development of clean technology.
“We are pleased to have struck a deal to have RWE move a facility to ReVenture,” said Tom McKittrick, President Forsite Development. “RWE was attracted to the sites extensive existing infrastructure which then can utilize and there are multiple opportunities for us to collaborate.”
Advanced biofuels took a $200 million step forward on the march toward commercialization Wednesday with the official opening of Novozymes’ enzyme plant in Blair, Nebraska.
The inauguration of Novozymes’ new Blair facility was celebrated with employees, customers, community leaders and government officials, including the governor of Nebraska, Dave Heineman, U.S. Department of Energy Senior Advisor Jason Walsh and Blair Mayor James Realph. The governor and the mayor together ceremonially started the fermentation process at the plant. “The grand opening of Novozymes is important for the ethanol industry and for energy independence,” said Governor Dave Heineman. “Nebraska is one of the top producers of ethanol in America, which makes our state the perfect site for this facility.”
With the 100 new jobs created by the plant opening, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack highlighted the importance of expanding tax credits for investments in clean energy manufacturing for the economy during a conference call today with Novozymes President Adam Monroe. Novozymes leveraged its $200 million private investment in the Blair facility with a 48C manufacturing tax credit from the federal government.
“This program (48C) along with several other tax credits really create the opportunity for a clean energy future with three very important results,” said Vilsack. Those results, he says, include increasing farm income, creating jobs, and reducing reliance on foreign oil.
Monroe says biofuels currently make up 16% of Novozyme’s $2 billion in revenues. “We’ve done a number of research projects funded by DOE and have reduced the cost of the key enzymes needed for advanced biofuels production by 90%,” he said. “Now it’s about getting steel in the ground and moving ahead. We wanted to be ready when this industry commercialized and now we are.”
Listen to comments from Secretary Vilsack and Adam Monroe here: Vilsack/Monroe press conference