FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Thu Aug 25 16:42:03 EDT 2011

Dual event: American Chemical Society releases landmark report to pioneer economic growth and new jobs

Entrepreneurship on the Ground – Denver business and chemical industry leaders respond

DENVER, Aug. 25, 2011 — American Chemical Society (ACS) task force members and Denver leaders will discuss critical steps to creating economic growth and jobs based on recommendations in a landmark report to be released on Monday, Aug. 29.

Innovation, Chemistry, and Jobs details how one of our nation’s most valuable economic sectors – the chemical enterprise – can shift from a historically commodity-based industry to a highly productive engine capitalizing on scientific innovations to stimulate powerful economic growth. The report identifies chemical entrepreneurs as uniquely positioned to take high-value innovations and commercialize new products and processes that will greatly stimulate economic productivity – bottom line: to create jobs.

  • Press Conference: Aug. 29, 9:30 – 10:15 a.m. Mountain Time, (11:30 a.m. Eastern Time) in the ACS Press Center, Room 210-212, Colorado Convention Center.
  • Panel Discussion: Entrepreneurship on the Ground – Denver Leaders Respond, 10:30 – 11 a.m. Mountain Time, (12:30 – 1 p.m. Eastern Time) same location.

Journalists may register for press credentials to attend the events or cover the discussion virtually via ACS’ popular “Live Chat” format. Embargoed copies of Innovation, Chemistry, and Jobs are available from the ACS Office of Public Affairs. As of Aug. 29, the report will be available at: www.acs.org/CreatingJobs.

Press Conference:
Moderator: Glenn Ruskin, Director, ACS Office of Public Affairs

Speakers:

Joseph S. Francisco, Ph.D., 2010 American Chemical Society President, convened Innovation Task Force

George M. Whitesides, Ph.D., Task Force Chair, Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor, Harvard University

Pat N. Confalone, Ph.D., ACS Board of Directors and Vice-President, Global R&D, DuPont Crop Protection

Robert H. Grubbs, Ph.D., 2005 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Victor and Elizabeth Atkins Professor of Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena

Michael Lefenfeld, Founder, CEO, and Chief Scientific Officer, SiGNa Chemistry

Speakers:

Joseph S. Francisco, Ph.D., 2010 American Chemical Society President, convened Innovation Task Force

George M. Whitesides, Ph.D., Task Force Chair, Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor, Harvard University

Pat N. Confalone, Ph.D., ACS Board of Directors and Vice-President, Global R&D, DuPont Crop Protection

Robert H. Grubbs, Ph.D., 2005 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Victor and Elizabeth Atkins Professor of Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena

Michael Lefenfeld, Founder, CEO, and Chief Scientific Officer, SiGNa Chemistry

Panel Discussion:
Moderator: Joseph S. Francisco

Speakers:

Scott Birmingham, Ph.D., CEO, Boulder Scientific Company

Tom Clark, Executive Vice President, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation

Pat N. Confalone, DuPont Crop Protection

Speakers:

Scott Birmingham, Ph.D., CEO, Boulder Scientific Company

Tom Clark, Executive Vice President, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation

Pat N. Confalone, DuPont Crop Protection

Bios of Task Force Speakers:

Pat N. Confalone, Vice President, Global R&D, DuPont Crop Protection. Pat Confalone received a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Ph.D. from Harvard. Moving to DuPont in 1981, he contributed to the development of fluorescent DNA sequencing reagents employed in the human genome project; CozaarTM, a major anti-hypertensive based on angiotensin II antagonism; and SustivaTM, a highly successful drug used to treat AIDS. Confalone has published 140 papers and obtained 50 U.S. Patents. He serves on the Editorial Advisory Boards of Current Drugs, Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, Journal of Organic Chemistry, Synlett, Progress in Heterocyclic Chemistry, Synthesis, Medicinal Chemistry Research, Medicinal Chemistry Letters, and Drug Design and Discovery. Confalone is a member of the ACS Board of Directors, served on the Presidential Task Force on Innovation in the Chemical Enterprise, and the governing boards of the Council for Chemical Research and the United States National Committee for IUPAC.

Joseph S. Francisco, 2010 ACS President, is the William E. Moore Distinguished Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Science and Chemistry at Purdue University. He appointed the Task Force which wrote this report. Francisco received a B.S. at the University of Texas, Austin, and his Ph.D. in chemical physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Francisco was a Research Fellow at Cambridge University in England, and a Provost Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT. In 1986, he joined the faculty at Wayne State University. In 1991, he was a Visiting Associate in Planetary Science at California Institute of Technology. He joined the faculty of Purdue University as Professor of Chemistry and Earth & Atmospheric Sciences in January 1995. Francisco has published more than 400 peer-reviewed publications in the fields of atmospheric chemistry, chemical kinetics, quantum chemistry, laser photochemistry, and spectroscopy. He was President for the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) from 2005-2007. Francisco recently received the Alexander von Humboldt U.S. Senior Scientist Award by the German government and was appointed a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Bologna, Italy.

Robert H. Grubbs is the Victor and Elizabeth Atkins Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. He received the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Dr. Grubbs has been a faculty member at Caltech since 1978; previously, he was at Michigan State University. He received a B.S. and M.S. from the University of Florida, Gainesville, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University. He was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University. Grubbs has published more than 500 papers and more than 115 patents. He co-founded five startup companies and serves on the Board of Directors or Scientific Advisory Board of those companies. In addition to the Nobel Prize and other international awards, Dr. Grubbs has received the ACS Award for Creative Invention, the Organometallic Chemists and Polymer Chemists Gold Medal of the American Institute of Chemists, and ACS Roger Adams Award in Organic Chemistry. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the American Chemical Society.

Michael Lefenfeld, President & CEO of SiGNa Chemistry, has dedicated his career to cutting-edge scientific research and developing innovative technologies that make people/industries safer, products greener and societies more sustainable. He holds an M.Phil. in Chemistry from Columbia University and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. At age 19, Lefenfeld created a medical sensor that became the basis for most pulse oximeters in use today. Lefenfeld’s next discovery—a process to stabilize reactive metals—led to the formation of SiGNa to advance the technology. SiGNa has since created products that improved the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of many industries and is now commercializing its revolutionary hydrogen generation technology, which will make affordable and sustainable energy a reality for all. Lefenfeld has been recognized with the Presidential Green Chemistry Award, the WEF Technology Pioneer Award, among others. He is an adjunct faculty member at Michigan State University and a member of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation’s Board of Overseers. Lefenfeld is a member of the American Chemical Society.

George M. Whitesides, chair of the ACS Task Force on Innovation, is the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor at Harvard University. Whitesides received an A.B. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology. He served on the chemistry faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1963 to 1982 and has been on the chemistry faculty of Harvard University since 1982. His wide-ranging research interests are in the areas of physical and organic chemistry, materials science, biophysics, complexity and emergence, surface science, microfluidics, optics, self-assembly, micro - and nanotechnology, science for developing economies, catalysis, energy production and conservation, origin of life, rational drug design, cell-surface biochemistry, simplicity, and infochemistry. He has extensive experience in entrepreneurship and has started a number of companies. Whitesides is a much honored chemist who is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering and a foreign member or fellow of numerous international scientific societies. He is a member of the American Chemical Society.

Bios of Panelists:

Scott Birmingham
CEO
Boulder Scientific Company
Mead, Colorado
http://www.bouldersci.com

Scott Birmingham is the CEO of the Boulder Scientific Company. He assumed that role in 2007, and has held multiple positions with BSC for the last 20 years. He served as Vice President for eight years, as director of operations for eight years, and ran the pilot plant for BSC. He got his start in the family business in 1987 developing scandium resources and production processes. Prior to his work at BSC, he worked at the U.S. Geological Survey. He received degrees in geochemistry from Colorado State University and the University of Texas at Austin. Boulder Scientific Company is a manufacturer primarily of specialty catalysts. The company manufactures products used in electronics, pharmaceuticals and in defense applications. Founded in 1961, BSC is distinguished in this area because of early history in the manufacture of metallocenes and other specialized organometallics.

Tom Clark
Executive Vice President
Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation
Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
http://www.metrodenver.org

Tom Clark is Executive Vice President of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. He has over 30 years of economic development experience at the state, regional, county and city levels. Tom's career spans four decades from Director of Commercial and Industrial Development for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, through positions with the Fort Collins, Colorado Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Denver Corporation, the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, the Jefferson Economic Council, and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. He holds bachelor’s degrees from Minnesota State University and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Illinois. Tom was the founder and first president of the Metro Denver Network, the Metro Denver region's first economic development program, for which he received the Arthur D. Little Award for Excellence in Economic Development. He was chosen as one of the nation's top economic development professionals by the Council on Urban Economic Development.

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