Bio-Economy Summit Set For Sept. 20-21

To host commercial/industrial, renewable fuels and biotechnology interests. 

Published on: Aug 11, 2006

Michigan's Bio-Economy Summit, Sept. 20-21 at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing, will be a 'one-stop shop,' for those interested in biomass-based renewable fuels, bio-industrial/commercial opportunities, and the future of these exciting new technological advances, according to Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Bio-Economy Consortium and the Michigan Agri-Business Association.

"There will be sessions on the basics of ethanol, biodiesel and methane generation, as well as more advanced discussions," he adds.

The Bio-Economy Summit will feature speakers such as Wayne Mitchell, a vice president with the Fagan Group, who has the most experience building ethanol plants across the country, explaining ethanol basics, the production process, products and co-products.

MSU Professor Dr. Bruce Dale is scheduled to discuss biomass as an energy feedstock, and as a raw material for industrial uses. There is an entire breakout on biomass energy from waste, with Methane production being the focus of that session.

Speakers will highlight development issues, technology, and specialty advances, as well as issues and opportunities that will surface in the years ahead. 

There will be good representation from the automotive companies on the program, Byrum says, with General Motors, Ford and Daimler Chrysler all participating, especially on the programs related to renewable fuels - ethanol and biodiesel - and their efforts to move production toward more flex-fuel ready vehicles.

A review of biotechnology and advances that will help move the bio-economy forward will also be on tap, along with presentations about what to expect in the future from biotechnology. Representatives from industry leaders Monsanto, Dow and Syngenta are on the program to bring the latest and hottest news to summit attendees.

Next Energy, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan Public Service Commission will describe what they are doing to move the bio-economy forward.

The summit will bring together top state and national leaders in the fields of biotechnology, renewable fuels and methane production, commercial and industrial opportunities and researchers.

"Michigan is already well on the way to taking the lead in the bio-economy with researchers from Michigan State University providing new ideas, technology and processes, a dynamic biofuels industry and leadership from the private sector, with Monsanto and DuPont already having two of the largest seed production and processing facilities in North America located right here in Michigan," he says.

Michigan's agricultural and biotechnology sectors currently account for more than $60 billion in economic output and 1 million jobs annually. New ventures, many related to the bio-economy and especially new facilities to produce renewable fuels, promise to create $1 billion more in revenue, and create up to 23,000 more jobs a year. Ethanol production alone has the potential to generate $400 million in annual revenue.

Raw materials from farms can also be used for manufacturing. From paint to plastics and car parts to glass, crops grown by Michigan farmers will certainly be in your future. Some companies are already ahead of this curve. A joint venture between DuPont and Cargill produces fibers for carpet from biomass materials, and even plastic bags and cups made from corn-based materials.

Additional information on the summit is available by calling (517) 336-0223, through e-mail at, or accessing a copy of the program and registration materials at