Biotechnology is a growing part of agribusinesses, it’s a way to take products a business has and bring it to the next level
At the Iowa Biotech Association’s Partnering for Growth event on April 1st, Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority Debi Durham was a keynote speaker. She talked about using Iowa’s ethanol and biodiesel production, and incentivizing, “bolt on” facilities to add value to the biofuel industry.
She specifically talked about Senate File 350, a bioproduction tax credit, it passed House and Senate Economic Growth committees unanimously and is sitting in the Ways and Means committee.
Durham says the initiative could add a lot of value to Iowa’s economy, especially since the state is number one in ethanol and number two in biodiesel production, “We own that fuel, we own the space, the biofuel. So now we need to harvest valuable chemicals from that stream. So what we’re proposing is a building block chemical initiative. So where we would incentivize the harvesting of chemicals from the biofuel stream that could add high value. And the growth potential is anywhere from 20 to 45 percent depending on what chemicals you’re harvesting.”
Durham says the incentivized companies would use chemicals found in bioproduction much like those found in the petroleum industry. They have similar uses, like in pharmaceuticals or cosmetics, except it comes from a bio economy. Durham thinks consumers would prefer that over petroleum products.