|20 March 2016|

A leading international academic scientist and entrepreneur will pick up a prestigious award for innovation in industrial biotechnology at the upcoming World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology.

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) has named Dr J Craig Venter as the recipient of its 2016 George Washington Carver Award for innovation in industrial biotechnology. The award honours the legacy of George Washington Carver, who was one of the founding fathers of the chemurgy movement, a branch of applied chemistry focused on manufacturing industrial products from raw agricultural materials. Industrial biotechnology is the modern-day equivalent of Carver’s vision for chemurgy, and the annual award honors an individual for carrying on Carver’s legacy.

“It is an honour to receive the prestigious George Washington Carver Award from BIO and to be represented among such an esteemed group of past winners. Synthetic Genomics and Synthetic Biology have the opportunity to profoundly impact food, pharmaceutical, and chemical manufacturing and I am pleased that by accepting this award it can help draw attention to that potential,” said Dr Venter.

“BIO is pleased to recognise Dr Venter for his determination to provide innovative biotech solutions to some of today’s greatest challenges in energy, nutrition, and medicine. Like George Washington Carver, Dr Venter has developed technology that enables sustainable economic growth through use of renewable resources. Dr Venter’s innovative achievements can help us meet global energy, and nutrition needs while tackling the problem of global climate change resulting from increasing greenhouse concentrations in the atmosphere,” said Brent Erickson, Executive Vice President for BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section.

“Dr Venter’s commitment to this industry matches that of George Washington Carver. Throughout his career, he has used his vast knowledge of biotechnology to break through barriers in science and medicine that were once thought to be impenetrable. This makes him worthy of the recognition attached to this award,” said Joe Hrdlicka, Executive Director of the Iowa Biotechnology Association and sponsor of this year’s award.

Dr Venter will collect his award and give a plenary session talk at next month’s BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology plenary luncheon session on April 18, 2016 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California.