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Biofuels Strategies Discussed by Oil and Chemical Executives at World Congress

A panel of executives representing BP, DuPont and Chevron offered their perspectives on the intersection of the energy and chemical industries with the industrial biotechnology and life sciences sectors this morning at the third annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing. The executives highlighted both the need for biofuels and other forms of energy and the opportunities that their respective companies are pursuing through industrial biotechnology.

Justin Adams, Director, Long Term Technology Strategy with BP, began the discussion by saying that the key drivers of the energy future will be supply security and environmental constraints. He noted that biofuels can help to meet these challenges, saying, "Biotechnology holds the key to driving down the costs of biofuel production" throughout the value chain, including the development of new feedstocks, novel enzymes, and fermentation technology. "What chemistry did in the 20th century, biology will do in the 21st," Adams said.

Bill Provine, Research Manager with DuPont discussed his company's strategy for using industrial biotechnology throughout the value chain, from specialized agricultural feedstocks to biotech enzyme and fermentation processes that produce biobutanol, a new type of biofuel. Richard Zalesky, Vice President of Biofuels & Hydrogen Business Unit, Chevron Technology Ventures, outlined a partnership with the state of California and Pacific Ethanol to study the use of E85 in state-owned vehicles as well as a collaboration with The Georgia Institute of Technology aimed at making cellulosic biofuels, biodiesel and hydrogen viable transportation fuels.

The Congress, held through today at the Toronto Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, is hosted by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), American Chemical Society, the National Agriculture Biotechnology Council, the Agri- Food Innovation Forum, the Chemical Institute of Canada, BIOTECanada and EuropaBIO.

BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.

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