FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | February 19, 2016

American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute forms industry roundtable to tackle 21st century challenge of bio-based and renewable technology sector

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2016 — The American Chemical Society (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute® (GCI), in cooperation with LanzaTech, Intrexon and other leading bio-based chemical companies, has formed the Biochemical Technology Leadership Roundtable (BTLR). This collaboration will identify and address key scientific challenges such as those relating to scaling up biochemical technologies in a sustainable way. Membership is open to all companies in the bio-based and renewable chemical/product value chain including consumer-facing companies.

“Supportive frameworks will help get new technologies to commercial scale in a shorter time frame,” says Jennifer Holmgren, Ph.D., CEO of LanzaTech. “The BTLR can do this by engaging with the wider market, establishing a supportive value chain and establishing and promoting best practices to help all players succeed on a level playing field.”

Biochemical technology is defined as a range of technologies that are used to produce chemicals and other products through biological transformations of bio-based and renewable materials (e.g., biomass, waste carbon dioxide, methane, etc.). Using these materials and processes is an important strategy to address global challenges arising from climate change, water scarcity, toxic emissions and health-related impacts of environmental changes. Bio-based chemicals can also reduce the environmental footprint of product manufacturing and offer novel characteristics that have the potential to drive innovation.

“We at Intrexon believe in the power of biology to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges,” says Jack Bobo, Intrexon’s senior VP and chief communications officer. “We are proud to join BTLR as a founding member to collaborate with other companies that seek to promote a truly sustainable economy.”

ACS GCI developed the roundtable after conducting a series of workshops and interviews with more than 30 corporations and startups in biotechnology, as well as government, academia and trade organizations.

“Our mission is to facilitate greater industry implementation of relevant technologies to improve the competitiveness and attractiveness of the field,” says David Constable, Ph.D., director of ACS GCI.

Roundtable members will collaborate on pre-competitive initiatives to:

  • Identify key research enablers to reduce the costs and improve performance of feedstock conversion/transformation
  • Develop a credible scientific database of key bio-based technology trends and scientific developments positioned to support commercialization, standards setting and policy setting
  • Promote and advance scientific forums to enable robust best-practice sharing and benchmarking
  • Identify opportunities to support promising scale-up efforts
  • Develop tools and methodologies to inform the design and use of biochemical and renewable chemical technologies
  • Enhance global collaboration among companies to increase the accessibility of green chemistry and engineering expertis

The bio-based sector is already a $369 billion dollar industry in the United States, employing 4 million people directly and indirectly according to An Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry: A report to the Congress of the United States of America.

The ACS GCI currently convenes four other roundtables with 39 member companies focusing on advancing green chemistry and engineering within their respective industrial fields: pharmaceutical, chemical manufacturers, formulators and hydraulic fracturing.

Companies interested in joining the Biochemical Technology Leadership Roundtable can become founding members by committing before June 16. Please contact Ann Lee-Jeffs at a_lee-jeffs@acs.org.

The ACS Green Chemistry Institute®, a part of the American Chemical Society, is dedicated to catalyzing the implementation of green chemistry and engineering throughout the global chemistry enterprise.  The ACS GCI convenes industrial roundtables, holds an annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference (gcande.org) and offers educational resources including grants, awards, webinars and workshops — encouraging scientific innovations to solve environmental and human health issues facing our world today.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 158,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive press releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

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