Press Release: Biomass South Attracting Wide Variety of Industry Pioneers and New Leaders in the Field of Biomass

MEMPHIS, Tennessee, September 30, 2010 – Biomass South 2010, presented by The Memphis Bioworks® Foundation’s AgBioworks™ Regional Initiative and the Southern Growth Policies Board, is proving to be the “must attend” event for entrepreneurs and pioneers in the field, and those who want to emulate them.  Biomass South is the premier event establishing the South’s leadership position in the critical transformation of the global economy from a fossil fuel economy to a bio-based renewable resource economy.

Among the impressive list of over 50 speakers are some of the major minds shaping the bioeconomy vision for the future. These include:

  • John van Leeuwen, CEO of EcoSynthetix, Inc. of Lansing, Michigan and Burlington, Canada, will provide insight into how his successful biobased product company has evolved and their new product – EcoSphere® a biobased material that is an alternative to petroleum-based latex. It can broadly substitute for petroleum-based latex in diverse applications, such as paper and paperboard, architectural coatings, carpet backing, engineered wood products, insulation and roofing, cosmetics, textiles, nonwovens and drilling fluids. (
  • Dave Jessen, CTO of Chromatin, Inc. of Chicago, Illinois which has emerged as a force in commodity agriculture through the licensing of its mini-chromosome technology, which simultaneously introduces multiple genetic traits into plants, reducing the time and cost typically required to develop novel crop products.  Recently the company moved into bioenergy and biomaterials through the acquisition of sorghum seed companies and the development of vertically integrated opportunities.(
  • Tom Ballard, Director of the Partnerships Directorate for UT-Battelle, the managing contractor for Oak Ridge National Laboratory a leading organization that plays a key role in connecting commercialization ventures to the technology rich assets of ORNL, related to bioenergy and biobased products. ORNL has been deeply involved in the bioeconomy since the 1970s and is the home of DOE’s Bioenergy Science Center, as well as collaborations with University of Tennessee, Genera LLC., and DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol, LLC. (

Dallas Tonsager, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Rural Development, will deliver the keynote address on the first day of the conference being held October 14 and 15 at the University of Memphis Holiday Inn Conference Center.

Other participating companies including: Buckeye Technologies, PMC Biogenix, FutureFuel Chemical Company, Arborgen, Ceres, AmeriFuels, National Farmers Union, ShowMe Energy, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association and many more.

The interest in, the research on, the entrepreneurship about and the business of Biomass and the Bioeconomy have never been more important to the economy of the South.  For more information on Biomass South, and to register, please visit

About AgBioworks:

AgBioworks™ is a non-profit regional initiative founded by Memphis Bioworks Foundation and BioDimensions dedicated to reducing the barriers to introducing new agricultural crops, farmer-owned processing, and new technologies which will result in a strong bioeconomy in the Mississippi Delta. AgBioworks has three regional offices co-located at the Regional Business Innovation Center at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky; Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce in Sikeston, Missouri, and at the Memphis Bioworks Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee. AgBioworks is also partnering with strong organizations in other states across the region.  Memphis Bioworks Foundation is a non-profit organization leading the collaboration between public, private, academic and government entities to accelerate the growth of the biosciences in the Memphis region. For more information, visit and

About Southern Growth Policies Board:

Southern Growth Policies Board is a non-partisan public policy think tank based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Formed by the region’s governors in 1971, Southern Growth Policies Board develops and advances visionary economic development policies by providing a forum for partnership and dialog among a diverse cross-section of the region’s governors, legislators, business and academic leaders and the economic- and community-development sectors. This unique public-private partnership is devoted to strengthening the South’s economy and creating the highest possible quality of life.  For more information, visit

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