The World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing, hosted by BIO, is set to begin on Sunday, May 8, 2011 in Toronto. A record crowd is expected and the exhibitor hall is sold out. I’ll be on site to bring you breaking news and information about the latest biotechnology trends as they relate to biofuels and biochemicals. To get a preview of the conference, I spoke with Brent Erickson, executive vice president with BIO.
Erickson said that this conference is really dynamic on multiple levels. There are a series of plenary sessions as well as breakout sessions and workshops covering the gamut from advanced biofuels technology to algae and feedstock crops, as well as aviation fuels, renewable chemical platforms, and bi-based materials. Several events of special interest include the announcement of the George Washington Carver award and Greenfield Ethanol will be making an announcement about its cellulosic technology.
Listen to or download my interview with BIO’s Brent Erickson: BIO World Congress Preview
Two weeks ago, BIO released a white paper on policy and investments needed for the biotech industry. Erickson said these issues would be key during the World Congress. Government policy in the U.S. as well as Canada and globally will be entwined through many sessions. In addition, there will be a focus on the flow of venture capital and investment money into this space as Erickson said for many companies this is an important issue. He also said it is very heartening in this investment climate to see IPOs take place. The next IPO to take place is Solazyme.
I asked Erickson what companies or technologies he think will breakthrough over the next 6-18 months and he said what we’ll see are platforms breakthrough. He believes the biobutanol platform will take off as well as the succinic acid platform.
Be sure to follow conference conference right here beginning on Monday.