Extension News

Iowa State University Hosts 2008 Biobased Industry Outlook Conference

5/6/2008

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University will host the 2008 Biobased Industry Outlook Conference, “Growing the Bioeconomy: From Foundational Science to Sustainable Practice,” Sept. 7-9.

Currently in its sixth year, the annual Biobased Industry Outlook Conference has steadily increased attendance and has developed a reputation as a premier event in the Midwest focusing on the growing bioeconomy.

This year’s conference will focus on strategies to achieve the new federal cellulosic biofuels mandate and advance the Midwestern Governors Association energy and climate change platform. Sessions over the two-day event will feature cutting edge research on cellulosic feedstocks production and processing technologies; biomass harvest, storage and transportation systems; biofuels and climate change; and human, social, economic and policy dimensions of the bioeconomy.

Plenary sessions will showcase different perspectives on biological conversion of biomass versus thermochemical conversion of biomass, corn as a prominent biofuel in the United States vs. polycultures and perennials as preferred biomass feedstocks, and whether biofuels are a help or a hindrance to mitigating global climate change. Conference highlights also include tours focusing on new biomass crops and cropping systems research and demonstrations of biomass harvest equipment prototypes, all at the Iowa State University New Century Farm.

“A highlight of the 2008 conference will be the showcase of new crops, new cropping systems and new biomass harvest and transport equipment at the ISU New Century Farm,” said Jill Euken, Iowa State University Extension project manager with the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) and conference chair. “One-half day of the conference will be tours and demonstrations in the plots and fields of the New Century Farm. It will be a unique opportunity to see how the landscape might look in the future.”

The 2008 conference provides an opportunity to discuss current research and collaborate on the issues facing advanced biobased products and climate change adaptation and mitigation innovations. This event targets researchers, product and process development experts, community leaders, government agency representatives, elected officials, economic development professionals, commodity group leaders, policy practitioners and venture capitalists.

The conference’s organizers and primary sponsors are the Bioeconomy Institute of Iowa State University, ISU Extension’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS), North Central Bioeconomy Consortium, North Central Sun Grant, University of Minnesota Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment, and the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development.

For additional information regarding the 2008 Biobased Industry Outlook Conference, please visit www.bioeconomyconference.org.

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Contacts :
Jill Euken, Bioeconomy Institute, Iowa State University, (712) 769-2600, jeuken@iastate.edu
MaryAnn Sherman, Bioeconomy Institute, Iowa State University, (515) 294-8473, msherman@iastate.edu

Laura Sternweis, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-0775, lsternwe@iastate.edu