Nominations Now Open for the BIO George Washington Carver Award for Innovation in Industrial Biotechnology

WASHINGTON--()--The ninth annual George Washington Carver Award will recognize an individual who has made a significant contribution to building the biobased economy by applying industrial biotechnology to create sustainable and environmentally friendlier products. The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) will begin accepting nominations for the Award today, February 01, 2016. The deadline for nominations is February 20, 2016. The award will be presented at the 2016 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in San Diego, California, which will be held April 17-20, 2016 at the San Diego Convention Center.

“Through his accomplishments and standing in the academic community, George Washington Carver became an important figure in American history. His lifelong work created new economic opportunities for farmers,” stated Brent Erickson, Executive Vice President, Industrial and Environmental at BIO. “Our annual award honors George Washington Carver as one of the founding fathers of modern industrial biotechnology. His efforts during the first half of the 20th century to develop new commercial products from agriculture and new sources of income for farmers have inspired modern industrial biotechnology companies to develop more sustainable, biobased products.”

Born into slavery, today George Washington Carver is an icon of American ingenuity. He worked to achieve a better life not only for himself but for all African Americans. A botanist and inventor, Carver's research and promotion of alternative crops, such as peanuts, showed poor farmers how to increase their productivity and opportunities and improve their quality of life. He also developed and promoted more than 100 products made from peanuts and other crops that were useful for the house and farm, including cosmetics, dyes, paints, plastics, gasoline, and nitroglycerin.

BIO’s annual George Washington Carver Award serves as a lasting memorial to the original vision of George Washington Carver who, over a century ago, pioneered the creation and commercialization of sustainable biobased products and materials and energy derived from renewable agricultural feedstock.

More information about the nomination process is available at Nominees must be living individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of industrial biotechnology, including applications in biological engineering, environmental science, biorefining and biobased products.

The George Washington Carver Award is also sponsored by the Iowa Biotechnology Association.

Past recipients of the George Washington Carver Award include:

  • Ellen Kullman, CEO & Chair of the Board, DuPont
  • Dr. Jay Keasling, Hubbard Howe Jr. Distinguished Professor of Biochemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Steen Riisgaard, President and CEO of Novozymes
  • Feike Sijbesma, CEO, DSM
  • Dr. Greg Stephanopoulos, Professor of Chemical Engineering, MIT
  • Charles O. Holliday, Jr., CEO & Chair of the Board, DuPont
  • Patrick Gruber, CEO, Gevo, Inc

All programs at the World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology are open to attendance by members of the media. Complimentary media registration is available to editors and reporters working full time for print, broadcast or web publications with valid press credentials.

For more information on the conference, please visit For assistance, please contact

About BIO

BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.

Upcoming BIO Events


BIO International Convention

BIO CEO & Investor Conference

June 6-9, 2016 February 8-9, 2016
San Francisco, Calif. New York, New York

13th Annual BIO Asia International Conference

BIO-Europe Spring

March 15-16, 2016 April 4-6, 2016
Tokyo, Japan Stockholm, Sweden

World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology

April 17-20, 2016
San Diego, CA


Biotechnology Innovation Organization
Caitlin G. Kennedy, 202-312-9288
Twitter: @IAmBiotech,

Release Summary

BIO's George Washington Carver Award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to building the biobased economy by applying industrial biotech. BIO World Congress.


Biotechnology Innovation Organization
Caitlin G. Kennedy, 202-312-9288
Twitter: @IAmBiotech,