US President, George Bush, is looking to the biotechnology industry to increase the domestic production of biofuels and the knock-on effect could mean more jobs in the sector.
During a recent visit to the North Caroline premises of Novozymes, an industrial biotechnology company that produces enzymes and microbes for applications such as ethanol production, President Bush participated in a panel discussion on advances in industrial biotechnology that can help dramatically increase ethanol production.
Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), is thankful for President Bush leadership on the issue of biofuels, saying “We appreciate the personal interest that President Bush has taken in boosting domestic biofuels production. The President’s recent statements underline his commitment to developing new biofuels technologies. We believe President Bush’s visit to Novozymes sends the world a strong message about the importance of the work that industrial biotechnology companies are doing to provide a key enabling technology for large-scale production of ethanol,”
Last year, President Bush announced that he wanted ethanol from cellulose to become cost-competitive with gasoline within six years, and followed this with the 2007 State of Union address where he proposed an aggressive plan to reduce gasoline usage in the United States by 20% by increasing the production of alternative and renewable fuels by 2017.
“We can achieve the President’s ambitious alternative fuel standard by using industrial biotechnology to both increase current ethanol production efficiency and make even more ethanol from cellulosic feedstocks such as corn stover, fast growing trees and wood chips, and dedicated energy crops, including switchgrass,” Greenwood continued.
“This could prove a massive boost for US-based biotechnology jobs. As the government continues to push for decreased dependency on petroleum based energy fuels and look to industrial biotechnology to provide just as cheap forms of alternate and renewable energy in the form of biofuels, there is little doubt that the increased push to increase its production would be lead to the creation of jobs.” according to Obi Igbokwe, CEO of Biohealthmatics.com, a biotechnology career website.
He also added that industrial biotechnology is not sector like to benefit from the push for increased production of biofuels, with agricultural biotechnology, another like beneficiary. Agricultural biotechnology is helping to increase corn yields, while industrial biotechnology is helping to convert corn starch and crop residues into ethanol more efficiently. With ongoing advances in biotechnology, biofuels can help America meet nearly half its transportation-fuel needs by the middle of this century.
Biohealthmatics.com is an online career portal dedicated to the biotechnology and healthcare IT industry. Along with career advice and job postings, it also provides business networking services for professionals within the industries.