Known for their investment and R&D in cellulosic sugars, Brazil is leading the way in modern innovations in industrial biotech. The World Congress was held May 12-15, 2014, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.
On Wednesday, May 14, 2014, BIO World Congress Programming included a Track Session on the “Evolution and Trends in Public Policies for Industrial Biotechnology in Brazil. ” Moderated by Nelson Akio Fujimoto, Secretary, Secretary of Innovation/ Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, the panel consisted of three experts in this field:
- Carlos Eduardo Cavalcanti, Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES)
- Manuel Teixeira Souza Junior, Agroenergy Nacional Research Center (EMBRAPA Agroenergia)
- Felipe Pereira, BNDES
“Worldwide Brazil is three times more invested in renewable sources of energy and five times more invested renewable sources of energy than the OECD,” commented Souza. He continued by noting the today Brazil does not have to import petroleum. Souza presented on EMBRAPA’s National Program for Biodiesel and stated that 73.3% of the country’s biodiesel comes from soybeans. He concluded by noting that the next challenge for EMBRAPA will be to reduce waste and add more value to the agribusiness chain.
Carlos Eduardo Cavalcanti presented on the Brazilian Development Bank’s investment in bioenergy projects. He commented that the bank has contracts with around one hundred projects and annually disperses around 3-4 billion dollars to the biofuels sector. Cavalcanti spoke on the PAISS program which helps finance the sugarcane-based biofuels and chemicals sector. He discussed how the program recently invested in new infrastructure facilities and how its business plan focuses on fostering such financial initiatives such as this.
Lastly, Felipe Pereira took the focus back on to the PAISS program. He discussed how the program has shifted to investing more in projects that focus on specialty chemicals for personal care products in order to meet a driving consumer demand.