Biobased and Renewable Products Update

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Biobased and Renewable Products Update

January 18, 2018


 Rural Prosperity Task Force Presents Findings To President Trump

On January 8, 2018, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue presented to President Donald Trump the findings of the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity.  The Task Force was established in 2017 following an Executive Order by President Trump to ensure the informed exercise of regulatory authority that impacts agriculture and rural communities.  According to the report, over 100 actions organized around five key topic areas, specifically e-connectivity, quality of life, rural workforce, innovation and technology, and economic development, were identified.

Of the recommendations related to economic development, the Task Force identified regaining American energy dominance as a key objective.  The report states that “[b]oosting production of all sources of energy from natural gas, oil, coal, nuclear, and renewables is essential to America’s national security interest and rural America’s economy.  The federal government must ensure a regulatory environment which can unleash this potential while keeping Americans safe and healthy.”

Regarding innovation and technology, the report recognizes biotechnology as “another area of U.S. leadership, being a sector that has driven innovation in fuels, chemicals, manufacturing, and agriculture.”  The Task Force recommended that:

The U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and other relevant agencies develop a communications strategy to increase acceptance of biotech products; and
The federal government continue efforts to modernize the federal regulatory system for biotechnology products, particularly by:
  Coordinating the federal regulation of biotechnology products;
  Coordinating interagency action through the Office of Science and Technology Policy; and
Expediting the commercialization of biotechnology products.


The full report is available on the USDA website.

Japan Proposes To Revise Its Fuel Ethanol Policy 

On January 2, 2018, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) issued a Global Agriculture Information Network (GAIN) report on Japan’s fuel ethanol policy.  According to the report, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) is seeking public comments on changes to its fuel ethanol policy.  The changes would establish a U.S. corn-based ethanol greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions value of 43.15; allow U.S. corn-based ethanol to be imported for the production of bio-ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE); increase the GHG emission values for Brazilian sugarcane ethanol and gasoline; and increase the GHG reduction target from 50 to 55 percent.  Comments on the proposed changes are due by January 18, 2018.  GAIN reports are prepared by U.S. Foreign Service officers working at posts overseas who collect and submit to FAS information on the agricultural situation.


AkzoNobel Launches 2018 Imagine Chemistry Challenge

On January 10, 2018, AkzoNobel, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), announced the challenges for its latest Imagine Chemistry program.  AkzoNobel initiated the Imagine Chemistry program in 2017 to startup and scale-up firms and researchers for an opportunity to solve real industry challenges and create sustainable business opportunities in chemistry.  Challenge winners receive joint development agreements with AkzoNobel to help bring their ideas to market.  During the 2018 program, AkzoNobel is soliciting solutions to the following challenges;

Development of a surfactant platform that is fully sustainable, specifically biobased, biodegradable, and zero footprint, and suitable for many applications;
Organic-free wastewater treatment solutions;
Smart technology to make chemical plants more intelligent, autonomous, and resource efficient;
Production of chlorate using a more sustainable, energy efficient method that does not use hexavalent chromium;
Technologies to increase the efficiency of the production of dry powder products; and
Small particle technology to help drive performance and sustainability improvements.

Participants can submit ideas and solutions through the online challenge platform.  Finalists will be invited to an intensive three-day event in June at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, where they will work with experts in finance and research to further develop their ideas.


Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference February 28 – March 2, 2018, Washington D.C.

The Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference 2018 (ABLC) will be held February 28 – March 2, 2018, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.  ABLC is the gathering point for top leaders in the Advanced Bioeconomy — bringing together the entire spectrum of advanced fuels, chemicals, and materials chief executive officers (CEO) and senior executives, business developers, research and development (R&D) leaders, strategic partners, financiers, equity analysts, policymakers, and industry suppliers.  Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Senior Chemist for Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), and Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D., Manager of BRAG, are featured speakers.  Register online.

ABLC is a connected series of five conferences on pressing issues in the bioeconomy, including:

Advanced Fuels Summit;
Renewable Chemicals, Biomaterials & Intermediates Summit;
Aviation Biofuels Summit;
ABLC Crop & Feedstocks Summit; and
ABLC Economic Development & Deployment Showcase.

Other News

Euractiv, “Socialists, EPP and ALDE Propose to Cap Biofuels Shares At 2017 Level, End Palm Oil
Alabama Cooperative Extension System, “Alabama Producers Growing Carinata for Biofuel
Arizona State University, “ASU Developing Biodegradable Plastics Made from Bacteria
Rothamsted Research, “Less Chewing the Cud, More Greening the Fuel


The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) helps members develop and bring to market their innovative biobased 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.
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