BIO and affiliates highlight the growing biorenewables sector in California

Brent Erickson: "California’s flourishing industrial biotech sector makes the region an ideal location to hold discussions about the future of the biobased industry."

In 2013, California’s life science industry created almost $259 billion in economic activity for the state. The biorenewables sector was instrumental in generating this growth, creating high-paying jobs and attractive economic opportunities for investors.

In a recent release, BIO and its California state affiliates, BayBio and Biocom, highlighted how the biorenewbales sector have helped grow California’s bioeconomy:

“California’s flourishing industrial biotech sector makes the region an ideal location to hold discussions about the future of the biobased industry,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president for BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section. “With new startups and strong academic research programs, the industrial biotechnology sector has become an economic driver for the state. California is seen as a national leader in advanced biofuels technology, algae platforms and renewable chemical development.”

In evaluating the economic impact of biotechnology in the California, BayBio and Biocom found that the biorenewables industry in Northern California generated almost $1.8 billion in regional economic activity and supported almost 5,600 total jobs in 2013. The average wages in the sector exceed $40,000 per year across the region. In Southern California, the sector supported over 12,700 jobs and generated nearly $3 billion in economic activity. The average wages in the sector exceed $56,000 per year across the region.

“The return of this summit to San Diego is fitting given the large players in the space who are driving biorenewables in the region,” said Joe Panetta, president and CEO of Biocom. “There is something to be said about the innovation taking place in San Diego that draws companies here for industry meetings, networking and collaboration.”

“As California is the birthplace of biotechnology, it’s fitting to bring together the industry’s leaders in San Diego,” said BayBio President and CEO Gail Maderis. “Biorenewables are one of the corner stones of California’s life science innovation, and our researchers are leading the way in developing sustainable chemicals, more efficient processes and new materials.”

Looking at this industry across the United States, BIO has projected that U.S.-based jobs for the biorenewables sector will rise from approximately 40,000 in 2011, which represents 3 to 4 percent of all chemical sales, to more than 237,000 by 2025. This employment level would represent approximately 20 percent of total chemical sales. Additionally, by 2017, the USDA-Nexant Renewable Chemicals Market Assessment predicts a potential value add of $775 million per year for renewable chemicals with capital investment of $2.4 billion. By 2022, the value added potential is estimated to rise to $3 billion per year with $6 billion capital.

These issues and more will be highlighted during the Renewable Chemical Platforms and Advanced Biofuels and Biorefinery Platforms Tracks at BIO’s Pacific Rim Summit. Additionally the Monday, December 8, lunch plenary session, Innovative Technologies to Transform the Biobased Economy, will bring together industrial biotechnology thought leaders to discuss technology breakthroughs in renewable specialty chemical applications and biobased products. BIO’s Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy will be held December 7-9, 2014 at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter.

For more information about the conference, please visit

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Biotechnology Industry Organization, press release, 2014-12-04.


BIOCOM Interrelations GmbH
Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
Nexant Inc.


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