The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG) helps members develop and bring to market their innovative biobased and renewable chemical products through insightful policy and regulatory advocacy. BRAG is managed by B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C., an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

ACS Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, July 14-16, 2015, North Bethesda, Maryland

The longest running green chemistry conference in the United States, American Chemical Society Green Chemistry & Engineering (GC&E) Conference invites scientists, decision-makers, students, and advocates to come together, compare findings, and discuss the science of the future. BRAG is a proud sponsor. Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., will present a session on July 16, 2015, regarding how the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) applies to biorenewable feedstocks.

BIO World Congress On Industrial Biotechnology, July 19-22, 2015, Montreal, Canada

The BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology is the world's largest industrial biotechnology event for business leaders, investors, and policy makers in biofuels, biobased products, and renewable chemicals. BRAG advisor Lynn L. Bergeson will offer opening remarks at the Women in Industrial Biotechnology Reception, sponsored by BRAG, at 4:00 p.m. on July 19, 2015, and will open the Renewable Chemicals and Biobased Materials track, sponsored by BRAG affiliate Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), at 8:30 a.m. on July 20, 2015. Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., will present "TSCA and the Regulation of Biofuels" at 8:30 a.m. on July 20, 2015, and "Leveraging 'Green' for Visibility" at 10:30 a.m. on July 20, 2015.


 

2015 BIO Rosalind Franklin Award Recipient Announced

On May 8, 2015, BIO announced that Dr. Jennifer Holgrem, CEO of LanzaTech, will receive the 2015 BIO Rosalind Franklin Award, honoring an outstanding woman in the field of industrial biotechnology. Dr. Holgrem has led LanzaTech to develop the first alternative jet fuel made from industrial waste gases and has defined the genetic blueprint of gas fermenting organisms and demonstrated that they can be engineered to produce novel, commercially viable molecules. "To be honored in this way is incredibly humbling for me," stated Dr. Holmgren. "Throughout my career, I've been surrounded by teams, partners and investors who believe we can challenge the status quo and create an energy future that isn't at odds with society or the environment. It is through that shared vision and collective wisdom that we are able to use industrial biotechnology to move forward on a path to the sustainable and equitable energy future our planet deserves."

The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) is proud to once again be sponsoring the Women in Industrial Biotechnology Reception at the 12th Annual BIO World Congress 2015, July 19-22, 2015, in Montreal, Canada. The reception is open to all BIO registrants, but RSVP is required. B&C, BRAG's affiliate, is sponsor of the Renewable Chemical and Biobased Materials track of programs at the conference.


 

On March 13, 2015, the National Academies issued Industrialization Of Biology: A Roadmap To Accelerate The Advanced Manufacturing Of Chemicals, a 143-page report prepared in response to a request from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to "develop a roadmap of necessary advances in basic science and engineering capabilities, including knowledge, tools and skills" to accelerate the advanced manufacturing of chemicals using biological systems. Thirteen committee members with expertise in synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, molecular biology, microbiology, systems biology, synthetic chemistry, chemical engineering, bioinformatics, systems integration, metrology, chemical manufacturing, and law and bioethics worked together with researchers to create a technical roadmap for the future of the biochemicals industry. The report, with chapters including "Industrial Biotechnology: Past and Present," "Vision of the Future: What New Chemicals Could Be Made?," and "How Do We Get There?," examines the regulatory and societal factors limiting the adoption of bioprocessing in the chemical industry today and makes recommendations for EPA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other agencies responsible for governance of existing and emerging biobased chemicals. A prepublication version of the report is available now, with a final publication date to be announced.

 

 

Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) and the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) were honored to sponsor the Women in Industrial Biotechnology Networking Reception, which took place on December 7, 2014, at the 2014 BIO Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy in San Diego, California. The awardee this year of the BIO Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology was Dr. Debbie Yaver. During the reception, attendees dialogued on the critical challenges and opportunities for today's women working within the bioeconomy, as well as the need to ensure the best and brightest women continue to pursue the biobased industry in the future.

 

 

As stakeholders eagerly await the impending official release of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rule, strong advocacy from all sides continues on the issue in Washington. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has been reviewing the proposed rule since August 30, 2013. Recently, a draft of it was leaked (the leaked draft proposal). In the leaked draft proposal, for the first time, EPA would lower the RFS target volumes not only for cellulosic biofuels, but for conventional ethanol and advanced biofuels as well.


On October 23, 2014, biofuels advocates, including representatives from the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), Advanced Ethanol Council (AEC), DuPont, Novozymes, and Abengoa, met with officials from OMB and the White House. Reportedly, they urged the Administration to reconsider the leaked draft proposal. They argued that the oil and gas industry's concerns about the blendwall -- the point at which no additional E10 may be blended into the fuel supply -- are unfounded and result not from the inability to blend greater amounts of ethanol into the fuel supply, but instead from the industry's refusal to do so. On October 29, 2013, BIO and AEC sent a letter signed by over 30 biofuels companies to President Obama again urging the Administration to reconsider the leaked draft proposal and stressing the importance of consistent RFS implementation to promoting investment in biofuels, including next generation biofuels.


This week, AAA and Sportsmen have come out in support of the oil and gas industry's position that EPA should lower the RFS volume requirements for ethanol to no more than 9.7 percent of the U.S. fuel supply. AAA echoes the industry's argument that such reduction is needed due to the E10 blend wall and concern that E15 could damage car engines. The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation held a briefing this week during which it suggested that the ethanol volume requirements under the RFS have caused hunting and fishing areas to be converted to cropland, and have degraded water quality in the Mississippi River watershed, among other changes.
 


 

On October 1, 2013, U.S.-based INVISTA and UK-based industrial biotechnology company Ingenza Ltd. announced they are partnering on the development of new technologies to enable bio-derived processes for the production of industrial chemicals. A copy of INVISTA's press release is available online.


 

Renewable chemicals are emerging at a fast pace, paving the way for new, innovative, and sustainable biobased products. The renewable chemicals’ market is estimated to reach $83.4 billion by 2018 in applications ranging from transportation and agriculture to textiles and cosmetics. In addition to all the elements great companies need to succeed -- a great product, a great brand, inspiring leadership, and vision -- biobased product companies need to understand how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) occupies a virtual seat at their management table, whether or not they know it.  

An article by BRAG in the August 2013 issue of Industrial Biotechnology, available online, lays out the regulatory challenges the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) presents to biobased and renewable chemical products and the rationale behind the formation of BRAG.  Through strategic insight into regulatory and legislative issues, collective advocacy on Capitol Hill and before EPA, education and training opportunities, and hands-on guidance from a deep bench of TSCA legal and scientific policy experts, BRAG is removing obstacles to commercialization for its members.


 
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