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Press Release

Inaugural Michigan Bio-based Economy Forum includes keynote speaker, Hon. Mark Schweiker, Former Governor, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Chief Relationship Officer & SVP, Renmatix

Posted on: 12 Oct 16

MichBio, the association for Michigan’s biosciences industry, presents the Michigan Bio-Based Economy Forum, a first of its kind statewide gathering on Thursday, October 27th, 2016 at Walnut Hills Golf Club in East Lansing, Michigan.

The half-day forum will serve as a platform where representatives from industry and academia, as well as NGOs and government, can discuss technology developments, business needs, and opportunities to integrate the various regional bio-based enterprises into a robust growth sector. MichBio invites stakeholders from across the entire value chain looking to exchange knowledge and experience with the bio-based products industry.

“Michigan enjoys sizeable agricultural and other natural resources, along with great research expertise, that can support a significant bio-based economy. It can become a major player if competencies, resources, and assets can be integrated cohesively around a single vision for growth,” remarked Stephen Rapundalo, MichBio’s President and CEO. “The Michigan Bio-based Economy Forum is where business, science and policy is meant to come together and begin to develop form and function for the sector, and push forward its success statewide.”

The Michigan Bio-based Economy Forum will feature keynote speaker, Hon. Mark Schweiker, Former Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Chief Relationship Officer & SVP of Renmatix, who will lead a dynamic discussion, ‘Driving a Bio-based Economy: Policies and partners needed’. The bio-based economy can be a driver of innovation and a key contributor to Michigan’s economic, environmental and social well-being through the application of biological tools and processes to the production of food, energy, chemicals and materials. A key takeaway will be developing ideas on what it will take for Michigan to succeed in building a statewide bio-based sector, particularly as other regions are aggressively developing their own.

“The Forum will feature industry and academic technology experts and business leaders who will discuss how Michigan can build a bio-economy that can provide viable bio-based alternatives for materials, energy and products. The opportunity to network with representatives from the supply, development and demand sides of the sector will be extremely worthwhile,” Rapundalo added. “Moreover, attendees will hear from Gov. Mark Schweiker, a longtime bio-based leader with a sound understanding of the economic potential the sector holds for Michigan.”

The following industry leaders will share perspectives on the current state of the global bio-economy and what Michigan must do to compete:

Jennifer Aurendt, PhD, R&D Program ManagerValicor

Richard Chylla, Executive Director, MSU Technologies, Michigan State University

Megann Head, Environmental Engineer DesignerSteelcase

Vijay Mannari, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Engineering Technology, Eastern Michigan University

Pat Morand, PresidentOpen Prairie Ventures

Jeff Pavlik, SVP/Managing Director - Capital MarketsGreenStone Farm Credit Services

Mark Rudnicki, PhD, Executive DirectorMichigan Forest Biomaterials Institute
Professor of Practice, Forest Biomaterials, School of Forest Resources & Environmental Sciences, Michigan Technological University

Lee Walko, Director, Business DevelopmentOmniTech International

More details about the Michigan Bio-based Economy Forum including agenda, registration and sponsorship opportunities can be found here:

MichBio is the trade association committed to driving growth in Michigan's biosciences industry and its many sectors, including agri-biotech, food and nutrition, bio-based technologies and renewable chemicals, industrial and environmental biotech, medical devices and technologies, pharmaceuticals and consumer healthcare, diagnostics and research products, testing and research services, and clinical research. MichBio members include bioscience companies, academic and research institutions, bioscience service providers, and related organizations. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @MichBio.

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Business Wire

Last updated on: 12/10/2016

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