Alberta biotechnology to be showcased in Orlando

    EDMONTON, March 19 /CNW/ - Plans to generate international interest in
the strong potential for an Alberta bioeconomy will be presented to an
international audience in Orlando, Florida this week. A delegation of more
than a dozen Alberta representatives from the public and private sectors will
be promoting the province to the expected 1,500 delegates.
    They will be attending the 3-day World Congress on Industrial
Biotechnology and Bioprocessing. A key focus of the promotion will be a 2-hour
workshop, entitled "Alberta...oil and more", to be presented immediately prior
to the Congress official opening ceremonies on Thursday, March 22.
    Len Bykowski, president and CEO of BioProducts Alberta, will be one of
the three Alberta presenters involved in the workshop. The other two
presenters - prior to a workshop question period - will be Stan Blade,
managing director of the Alberta Agricultural Research Institute and Denis
Herard, MLA, the co-chair of the Alberta Life Sciences Institute.
    "This annual congress has been held for the past four years and has
increased in significance and attendance each year," said Bykowksi. "There
have been a large number of representatives of major international
corporations involved in the bioproducts business attending previous
congresses. We are sure that presenting these key decision-makers with an
understanding of Alberta's natural assets in this sector will help us meet our
objectives of being one of the world's leading bioeconomic sectors by 2020."
    "Alberta is in the rare situation of having wealth from its energy
resources to support the development of a bioeconomy, using the two essential
ingredients - agriculture and forestry," said Bykowski.
    A six-minute video on the existing success and future of the oil sands
will open the workshop, to set the scene for bioproducts potential in Alberta.
    Blade will use examples of some of the current advanced research projects
in Alberta to illustrate the phenomenal potential in this booming
international sector. Included in the examples he will present are the joint
development by the Alberta Research Council and Highland Feeders in Vegreville
on processes to convert cattle manure into renewable end products, including
green energy, organic fertilizers and reusable water; the success of canola,
leading to continued research and development of the product and further
research to prove the significant potential of triticale; and research at the
University of Alberta by Dr. Suresh Narine on the modification of lipids for
the benefit of end users in the petrochemical and cosmetics industries.
    Speaking as the co-chair of the Alberta Life Sciences Institute, as well
as a representative of the Alberta Government, Herard will outline the
potential for growth in Alberta's bio sectors, by taking advantage of the
existing resources and infrastructure.

    Among the organizations being represented at the Congress are:

    Alberta Agricultural Research Institute   Alberta Life Sciences Institute
    Bio Alberta                               BioProducts Alberta
    Ceapro Inc                                IFASA
    Olds College School of Innovation         University of Alberta

    and the following Government departments:

    Alberta Advanced Education and Technology
    Alberta Agriculture and Food
    Alberta Energy

For further information:

For further information: either in advance or at the Congress, contact
Brian Hetherington, media coordinator at (780) 886-6459

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