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Nov. 17, 2006

Bioeconomy summit is Nov. 28

by Mike Krapfl, News Service

Nearly 300 leaders from Iowa industry, government and higher education are expected to attend Iowa State's day-long conference on the bioeconomy Nov. 28. Participants will develop policy and investment recommendations intended to maintain Iowa's leadership in the bioeconomy.

"A Call to Action Summit: Ensuring Iowa's Leadership in the Bioeconomy" will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. in the Scheman Building. Registration is required and there is a $25 fee. Participants are encouraged to register early. The summit Web site is

"Iowa is the nation's clear leader in producing ethanol from corn," said president Gregory Geoffroy. "But there is urgency for Iowa's leaders to start formulating policies and programs to ensure that Iowa continues its leadership into the era of advanced renewable fuels made from lignocellulose. It is dangerous to assume that Iowa's tremendous advantages as a corn producer will mean the state will still be the ethanol leader when renewable fuels are produced from plant fiber."

The morning session will feature a keynote address by Geoffroy. Other scheduled remarks are:

  • "The Future of Biorefining in Iowa," by Robert C. Brown, director of biorenewables programs at Iowa State.
  • "Opportunities and Challenges of Growing the Bioeconomy in Iowa," by Ted Crosbie, the state's chief technology officer and Monsanto's vice president for global plant breeding.
  • "Implications of Bioenergy on Agricultural Production," by Craig Lang, president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.
  • "Economic and Social Impacts of a Growing Bioenergy Industry on the State and their Policy Implications," by Bruce Babcock, director of ISU's Center for Agricultural and Rural Development.

Governor-elect Chet Culver has been invited to speak about the potential impacts of the bioeconomy on the state.

During the afternoon session, working groups will discuss topics such as biomass production, biorefineries, infrastructure and transportation, sustainability, the economic and social impacts on communities, consumer acceptance, and balancing food and fuel production. Groups discussing each topic will develop policy ideas, funding recommendations and plans to work with the Iowa Legislature.

Vice president for research and economic development John Brighton said the goal by the end of the day is to arrive at:

  • Policy ideas that will help sustain Iowa's grain ethanol and biodiesel industries while encouraging expansion into biorefineries that process plant fiber.
  • Funding recommendations that will assure the state's continued leadership in biobased products.
  • Plans to work with state lawmakers to make sure the recommendations are considered during the 2007 legislative session.


A Call to Action Summit: Ensuring Iowa's Leadership in the Bioeconomy

  • Nov. 28, 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m.
  • Scheman Building
  • Registration is required ($25)

See Summit Website.