BIO Gearing Up to Announce the 2014 Washington Carver Award Recipient

BIO will present the 7th annual George Washington Carver Award to a key innovator who has changed the landscape for the industrial biotechnology industry at its annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology which will be held May 12-15, 2014 in Philadelphia, PA. This award emphasizes the important goal of using biotech innovation to develop sustainable bio-based value-chains.

Born in slavery, around 1864, George Washington Carver became a prominent leader in the field of plant biology, a renowned inventor and a noted chemist. Though he is famously known for developing several new uses for crops such as peanuts, he in fact invented many types of plastics, paints, dyes and even a kind of gasoline.  Much like Carver, those nominated must demonstrate significant accomplishments in innovation or business development and have employed industrial biotechnology to facilitate the advancement of a biobased economy and industrial sustainability.

A panel of key industry executives nominates a winner who most exhibits traits of cutting edge innovation and who are pioneers in the field of industrial biotech.  Past conference winners include:

Dr. Jay D. Keasling of the University of California, Berkeley who in 2013 won the Carver Award for his contributions to the field of synthetic biology promoting the use of engineering microbes to produce biofuels, medicines and even cosmetic compounds from simple ingredients like sugar cane and grasses.  In 2012, a panel selected Novozymes’ President and CEO Steen Riisgaard, who lead the company in creating tomorrow’s biotechnology solutions while improving the use of our planet’s resources and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.  In 2011, Feike Sijbesma, CEO of DSM was presented with the Carver award for leading his company’s efforts to promote bio-based products over those relying on fossil-fuel resources.

MIT Professor Greg Stephanopoulos received the annual Carver award in 2010 for his innovative work in the field of metabolic engineering and co-author of the seminal textbook that laid the educational and engineering foundations of this new field.  In 2009, BIO presented the award to Charles Holliday, Jr. , Former CEO of DuPont in which during his tenure as CEO, invested in biology-based businesses and infused them with its chemistry know-how.  BIO presented the first annual George Washington Carver Award to Dr. Patrick Gruber, CEO, Gevo, Inc., recognizing his accomplishments in creating and commercializing a new plastic made from annually renewable resources.

The recipient will have the honor of delivering a keynote speech during the plenary program in which he or she will be accompanied by co-panelists best chosen to highlight the accomplishments of the 2014 winner.

Celebrating its 11th anniversary, BIO’s World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology is the world’s largest industrial biotechnology event for business leaders, investors, and policy makers in biofuels, biobased products, and renewable chemicals.

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