The educational program was still in full swing on the final day of the 2017 BIO World Congress, with more than a dozen sessions covering a wide range of topics.
Programming on the new developments in biobased products and packaging was a highlight.
The final World Congress plenary session, “A Revolution in Biobased Products and Packaging” highlighted the recent innovations in plastics and packaging materials due to an increase in global demand for renewable materials.
The session was moderated by Richard Eno, Senior Partner at Roland Berger LLC and featured the following panelists:
- Thijs Rodenburg – Chief Executive Officer, Rodenburg Biopolymers
- Michael Saltzberg – Global Business Director, Biomaterials, DuPont Industrial Biosciences
- Yuko Amizaki – Associate Director, Business Development, Energy Sector, Intrexon
- Puneet Trehan – Material Innovation & Development Leader, IKEA Group
- Gustavo Sergi – Renewable Chemicals Business Director, Braskem
Performance was noted as a key driver for consumers – consumers are increasingly seeking greener, more sustainable products, but the need for high performance is still critical. Biotechnology provides unique opportunities to meet that “green” demand without sacrificing quality.
The importance of both partnerships and customer communication was one of the main takeaways from the plenary. As Puneet Trehan of IKEA noted, you have to educate consumers – as well as those you work with both up and downstream – on the importance of the work and the value of the product.
BIO also honored Dr. Gord Surgeoner, OOnt, with its second annual BIO Leadership and Legacy Award in Industrial Biotechnology during this plenary session.
A related breakout session titled “Meeting Brand Owner and Retailer Demand for Green Chemicals, Materials and Products Through Renewable Chemicals and Biobased Materials” explained the pressure many brand owners and retailers are facing from regulators, consumers and NGOs to eliminate specific chemicals or materials from their products – and the pressure to identify new materials or products without new chemical hazards.
As the panelists noted, renewable chemicals and biobased materials offer new solutions to these business challenges, providing opportunities for consumers to go “green” without losing quality.