2019 ABLC preview

April 2, 2019 |

It’s morning time in the advanced bioeconomy.

The bioeconomy today is strong and growing stronger. It’s a $2.7 trillion global sector, as big as France and growing as fast as China. Reuters reports that “oil prices are chasing $70 a barrel”, stocks like Amyris and Renewable Energy Group have been on a surge, there are projects underway to increase operating advanced biofuels production capacity to more than 14 billion gallons by 2022. More than two dozen commercial-scale projects are underway or open to make advanced foods, feeds, flavors, fragrances, speciality chemicals, nutraceuticals, sustainable materials and high-performance new materials — and more.

The work you are doing is changing the world and attracting its attention along the way.

The State of the Industry and New Fortunes 2019

Where is the overall industry, and where are the golden opportunities looking ahead? The State of the Industry and New Fortunes 2019 presentations, 25 key trends for 2019 and 24 Key Opportunities in the Bioeconomy, will take place on Wednesday evening, April 3rd at 6pm and 7pm Eastern time, respectively.

BioChannel.TV coverage

The Digest’s streaming service, BioChannel.TV, will live stream all the main stage activity from 8am through 6pm on April 4th and 5th. Coverage of April 3rd sessions and the live streams coverage will be available on a recorded basis via BioChannel.TV On Demand.

ABLC preview

ABLC — the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference — opens April 3rd against a backdrop of commercial deployment, a hunt for more sustainable feedstocks and supply-chain optimization, a drive on costs, higher yields in farming and aquaculture, and in bioconversion, new applications, and a surge in new R&D efforts designed to deliver all of the above. At the same time, opponents of renewables are launching more efforts to blunt, reverse, or slow the transition toward a more sustainable economy.

ABLC 2019 kicks off with an opening keynote by former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus at 12:00pm Eastern time and at 2:25pm Eastern time the US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will make his ABLC debut with the ABLC 2019 keynote address. Both Secretary Mabus and Secretary Perdue are expected to highlight the capacity of United States growers and technologists to increase both the supply and sustainability of raw materials, and the opportunities and imperatives to open new markets through innovative technology and competitive prices.

On April 4th, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa will be at ABLC for the William C Holmberg Lifetime Achievement Award at 9am. POET CEO Jeff Broin will accept the Global Bioeconomy Leadership Award and ABLC will also feature also have LanzaTech CEO Jennifer Holmgren, DSM Biobased president Atul Thakrar, Fulcrum CEO Jim Macias and Praj CEO Pramod Chaudhari later in the morning of April 4th.

We have our secret speaker right before the luncheon break. Who will it be? At 6:15pm Eastern time, the Digest will announce the 50 Hottest Companies in the Advanced Bioeconomy.

Don’t mess with the RFS: The Domestic Policy Forum

A rare gathering of the top DC officials at six major trade associations will take the state at 8am April 4th for the Domestic Policy Forum. ABFA president Mike McAdams, ABBC executive director Brooke Coleman, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor and the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas’ Anne Steckel will return to the ABLC stage, while NBB VP Kurt Kovarik, and RFA’s new CEO Geoff Cooper are making their ABLC debuts.

On the Docket? RFS, demand destruction, E15, pathway approvals, LCFS, intermediates, trade policy, the Green New Deal, expected action (or not) in the Congress, courts and agencies this year, tax credits, Farm Bill implementation and more.

Global scale and deployment

The AltAir division of World Energy has been much in the news because of its transformative role in bringing the cost of sustainable aviation fuels from $25 a gallon in 2012 to under $2.00 a gallon in 2018, while increasing the biobased blend portion from 10 percent to 30 percent. Aviation fuel is just one aspect of this remarkable company story – the story of World Energy, and World Energy CEO Gene Gebolys will be joining us on stage on April 4th to look at the spectacular growth in biomass-based diesel and jet fuel.

Open innovation and partnership

The Digest interviewed as amazing leader in the European chemical industry some time ago, Peter Nieuwenhuizen when he was CTO of AkzoNobel Speciality Chemicals and launching Imagine Chemistry, one of the most ambitious Open Innovation efforts taking place anywhere in the world. Big changes have since occurred at AkzoNobel, which spun off its Specialty Chemicals unit as Nouryon this year. Open Innovation is changing that company, and changing many others around the world, and at ABLC 2019 we’re pleased to have a special address from Peter Nieuwenhuizen to reflect on the re-shaping of R&D, and to tell us about Imagine Chemistry and how it has brought companies such as White Dog Labs into close partnership with Nouryon, and the promise it has for accelerating and directing innovation in the future.

Looking back, looking forward

We have quite a few first-timers on the ABLC stage this week. Not long ago we observed that John Melo at Amyris, Pat Gruber at Gevo and Vincent Chornet at Enerkem are just about the only CEOs still in the same role at the same company as when the Digest was founded 11 years ago. That’s a lot of change – what does it mean, what should we take away, what are the lessons learned? Gevo CEO Pat Gruber will join us on the ABLC main stage to explore those themes in a special address.

The Bottom Line

When 500 leaders come to one place at one time for real dialogue on the real opportunities, it’s a special moment. We’ll look forward to bringing you all the action on the Floor throughout this ABLC Week.

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