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Industrial & Environmental

Industrial and Environmental Section Value Proposition 

Industrial biotechnology applies life science tools, such as microbes and enzymes, to traditional manufacturing and chemical processes to produce biobased or cleaner, more sustainable products and materials. The Industrial and Environmental Section (IES) develops policies to help drive the growth of advanced biofuels, biomass supply, specialty crops, biobased products and materials, specialty chemicals, food and nutritional ingredients and synthetic biology and genomics research. We work closely with the U.S. Congress, federal agencies, and international organizations to encourage the development of technologies that make our lives and environment cleaner, safer and healthier. This Section is also active in promoting technologies that support a growing biobased economy and meet the demand for sustainable sources of energy.

BIO2018 Report: Renewable Chemical Platforms Building the Biobased Economy

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) has released a new report, “Renewable Chemical Platforms Building the Biobased Economy,” to document the rapid expansion of renewable chemical platforms and applications around the world. The report profiles 100 companies located in 16 countries – from small startups to large brand manufacturers – that are commercializing renewable chemical applications, report highlights include: 

  • Analysis of the international biobased economy, profiling 100 companies from 16 countries.
  • Descriptions of each company’s products, technology, potential markets, partnerships and funding.
  • Information on the commercialization stage of renewable chemical biorefineries and platform technologies around the world.
  • Imapct report of the rapidly evolving and growing renewable chemical industry on the global manufacturing economy.

Download Report


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Advanced Biofuels

Biofuels produced from a wide range of renewable biomass feedstocks, including purpose grown energy crops, algae, and waste streams. Biotechnology enables the production of a variety of biofuels, including molecules that can directly substitute for hydrocarbons in transportation fuel.



Algae is a source of renewable biomass, oil, and food or feed ingredients. Many marine organisms can also be used as a biobased production platform for renewable chemical ingredients and advanced biofuels.


Climate Change

Industrial biotechnology enables cleaner, more energy efficient production of consumable goods, utilizing renewable raw materials instead of fossil resources. The use of renewable raw materials can reduce emissions of atmospheric carbon over the lifecycle of consumer products and fuels, in comparison to the use of fossil resources.


Renewable Chemicals & Biobased Materials

Biobased products are made from renewable biomass, oils or other carbon waste streams, including waste stack gasses. Renewable chemicals are the building blocks for biobased products.


Renewable Specialty Chemicals

Petrochemicals are often substituted for natural flavorings, fragrances and ingredients in large-scale production of processed foods and in low-volume and high-value personal care items. Biobased production of renewable specialty chemicals can displace use of petrochemicals in traditional specialty and fine chemical applications.


Synthetic Biology

Synthetic Biology combines elements of engineering, chemistry, computer science, and molecular biology. It is an extension of the continuum of genetic engineering that has been used safely for more than 40 years by the biotechnology industry in development of commercial products. For instance, rapid gains in the speed, precision and efficiency of DNA synthesis, sequencing, and recombinant DNA technology combined with cataloging of genomic data permit advanced methods for predictable biological production of commercial proteins and renewable chemicals.


Biobased Economy

The industrial biotechnology sector envisions an economy in which renewable resources and waste streams are used to produce energy, renewable chemicals, and everyday consumer goods.  Biorefineries would replace traditional oil refineries in providing everyday energy and biobased products.


below50 Partnership

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and below50 share a common goal of growing the biobased economy in North America and around the world. BIO will be the North America Hub for below50.