Last week, as presidential candidates trekked across the Hawkeye State and campaigned on addressing society’s most pressing challenges, biotech innovators wrapped up four days of showcasing the scientific solutions to climate change, hunger, pollution, and energy security.
Biotech breakthroughs—such as biofuels that reduce carbon emissions, biodegradable plastics made from plants, or gene-edited plants that reduce agriculture’s impact on the environment—were center stage in Des Moines at the 2019 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and AgTech.
With the 2019 BIO World Congress being hosted in America’s heartland, attendance at this year’s event grew by 15 percent from 2018. Close to a thousand C-suite executives, government officials and leaders from across the globe descended on Iowa. The event was the highest attended BIO World Congress held in the United States in half a decade.
“Hosting the 2019 BIO World Congress in America’s cultivation corridor was truly transformative in advancing the industrial biotech and agtech sectors,” said BIO’s President of Membership and Business Operations Joanne Duncan. “As a top producer of corn, soybeans, and biomass, Iowa is the perfect location to convene those working to transform today’s ideas into tomorrow’s breakthroughs. The BIO World Congress once again proved to be the premier event to collaborate with biotech entrepreneurs, start-ups and innovators.”
- The Des Moines Register (BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood): Memo to 2020 candidates: Biotech can save Iowa and the planet
- The Des Moines Register (Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig): Celebrating innovation in Iowa agriculture at the BIO World conference
The event kicked off with remarks by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, who welcomed the attendees of the world’s largest event on industrial biotechnology and agtech and noted that Iowa is an epicenter of biotechnology growth and innovation.
- ABC Des Moines: Gov. Reynolds attends BIO World Congress in Des Moines
Throughout the week, biotech leaders visited the BIO Buzz Center to share their perspectives on the bio-economy. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Tropic Biosciences, DSM, and Genomatica discussed key industry trends, like gene editing, biofuels, and renewable chemicals.
- Click here to access all of the interviews.
The international presence at the event was driven by delegations from countries across the globe, including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Additionally, leaders from across the Midwest represented 35 percent of total attendance at the event.
Attendees took advantage of the event’s location and embarked on the first-ever bio-economy tours offered at the BIO World Congress. One-third of those at the event attended the tours, which included Iowa State University, Bayer, Corteva, Renewable Energy Group, and Cargill.
- Ottumwa Courier: Cargill opens doors to visitors
This year’s event included new programming in agtech, including sessions on gene editing and the future of food and agriculture. The BIO World Congress also hosted the first-ever Start-Up Stadium at the event, where more than 30 emerging companies engaged in the Shark Tank-style forum to showcase breakthroughs in biotech and solicit potential investors to bring these technologies from the lab or field to market.
- NBC Des Moines: ‘Startup Stadium’ Provides Chance to Lure Worldwide Attention During International Event in Des Moines
BIO’s One-on-One PartneringTM continued to be a key forum for advancing the industry with 1,905 partnering meetings taking place over the four days.
Notable leaders in both sectors headlined the event, including former Iowa Governor and recipient of the George Washington Carver Award Tom Vilsack, Ginkgo Biowork’s founder and Rosalind Franklin Award recipient Reshma Shetty and the Leadership and Legacy Award recipient Mario Pennisi, an industry advocate in Queensland, Australia.
All photos from the 2019 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Agtech are available on the official BIO Flickr account.
The 2020 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Agtech will be held be Raleigh, North Carolina, September 20-23, 2020. We hope to see you there!
Learn more about what happened at the 2019 BIO World Congress:
- BIOtech-Now: #BIOWC19 Kicks Off: Biotech Breakthroughs Take Center Stage in Des Moines
- BIOtech-Now: #BIOWC19 Day 2 Wrap-Up: Innovating for a Sustainable Future
- BIOtech-Now: #BIOWC19 Day 3 Wrap-Up: Bringing People, Ideas, and Technology Together
- DTN: Stating Carbon Fuel Standards
- DTN: NASDA Wants FDA to Move Quickly on Hemp Oversight
- DTN: AquaBounty Salmon No Longer Swimming Up Regulatory Stream
- DTN: Industry Addresses Consumer Understanding, Regulatory Environment for Gene-Edited Foods
- Biofuels Digest: Heard on the Floor at the 2019 BIO World Congress in Iowa
- Brownfield Ag Network: NPPC wants USDA involved in the regulation of livestock gene editing
- Brownfield Ag Network: NCGA Announces Winners of its Consider Corn Challenge II Competition
- Brownfield Ag Network: Cell-Cultured Meat Developer Predicts Product on Market Within Three Years
- Ag Update: Consider Corn Challenge winners focus on renewable materials
- National Corn Growers Association: National Corn Growers Association in the Spotlight at BIO World Congress
- Bioplastics News: ARS At the Forefront of Cornstarch Research
- Bio Based Press: Towards eco-friendly personal care, and other BIO highlights
- The National: Scotland could become a world leader in biotechnology
- Mirage News: Queensland innovator honoured at international BIO congress
- Primer Mover Magazine: QLD to showcase renewable diesel on world stage
- My Sunshine Coast: Queensland biofutures to take centre stage on the world stage
Filed under: Biofuels & Climate Change, Business and Investments, Business of Biotech, Environmental & Industrial, Events, Farmer Gene, Food And Agriculture, International, #BIOWC19, 2019 BIO World Congress, 2020 BIO World Congress, agricultural biotechnology, Agtech, Bayer, BIO World Congress, biofuels, biotechnology, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Cameron Dick, carbon emissions, Cargill, climate change, Corteva, cultivation corridor, Debi Durham, department of agriculture, Des Moines, DSM, energy security, gene editing, Genomatica, George Washington Carver, Gingko Bioworks, greenhouse gases, Hawkeye State, hunger, industrial biotechnology, Iowa, Iowa Economic Development Authority, iowa state university, Jim Greenwood, Joanne Duncan, Kim Reynolds, Leadership and Legacy Award, Mario Pennisi, Mike Naig, North Carolina, One-on-One Partnering, pollution, Queensland, Raleigh, renewable chemicals, Renewable Energy Group, Reshma Shetty, Rosalind Franklin, start-up Stadium, Stephanie Batchelor, Tom Vilsack, Tropic Biosciences, USDA