The Biosciences Area recently joined the California Air Resources Board, UC Berkeley, and UC’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources in co-hosting the California Bioresources Economy Summit, aimed at harnessing biotechnology to convert California waste streams from farms, forests, and landfills into valuable low-carbon fuels and products.
Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences Mary Maxon keynoted the two-day conference as it kicked off January 29 at the David Brower Center in Berkeley. In her presentation, Maxon noted that expansion of the $370 billion per year U.S. bioeconomy could create more than 1 million jobs while reducing annual carbon emissions by up to 450 million tons.
Biological Systems and Engineering (BSE) Division Director Blake Simmons moderated a session entitled “Current and Future Technologies and Strategies,” which included Chief Science and Technology Officer for Biosciences Jay Keasling. Representatives from Aemetis, the Department of Energy’s BioEnergy Technologies Office, and Lygos joined Keasling on the panel.
Corinne Scown, staff scientist in the Energy Technologies Area and Vice President for Life-Cycle, Economics and Agronomy at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), led a session that provided an overview of bioresources available for conversion to biofuels and bioproducts. Scown invited representatives from CalFIRE, CalRecycle, Humboldt State University, and UC Berkeley to participate.
The conference’s presentations are available here.