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Biotechnology Can Address Global Mega Trends, DuPont Leader Says

Biotechnology Stewardship is Critical to Meeting Global Needs for Increased Food and Energy

Yokohama, Japan (Vocus) October 7, 2009 — Innovations in biotechnology can help address the growing global demand for food and fiber and reduce dependence on fossil fuels, DuPont Executive Vice President James C. Borel, told attendees of the BioJapan 2009 World Business Forum.

“Through biotechnology, we have the opportunity to transform how we produce and distribute food and how we source energy and materials,” Borel said.

Borel noted that food security is increasingly being recognized as a key to security. He said plant biotechnology will be a critical tool to doubling global agricultural output by 2050 and helping provide food security to the 9 billion people expected to be on the planet. He also noted the role biotechnology can play in addressing the need for renewably sourced energy and materials as solutions are sought to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

Borel gave examples of how the DuPont investment of more than $1 billion in research and development annually is addressing mega trends:

  • Increased Food Production: Investments in advanced plant breeding are increasing food production today with innovations such as Y Series Soybeans from DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred, which have 5-10 percent more yield.
  • Reducing Dependence on Fossil Fuels: A versatile fiber from DuPont called Sorona® has all the positive attributes of nylon, but features an environmentally improved manufacturing process using 100 percent naturally sourced ingredients. Demand for this fiber and other renewably sourced materials have more than doubled since market entry two years ago. DuPont biotechnology also is key to the development of biobutanol, an advanced biofuel being developed in partnership with BP. A joint venture was formed earlier this year – Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC – to market and commercialize the technology by 2012. A joint venture with Danisco is also working on cellulosic ethanol with intention to be operational in 2012.

Borel noted that the potential of biotechnology to make a difference is greatest where the biggest challenges exist.

“Emerging markets have perhaps the most to gain from biotechnology,” he said. “The positive impacts of biotechnology will be especially dramatic for people in developing countries because the technology is size neutral and can efficiently deliver increases in volume and quality of crops.”

Though adoption of plant biotechnology has been at a rapid pace, Borel emphasized the importance of continually working to keep consumers informed about the technology and working tirelessly to manage it carefully.

“Transparency of information with our key stakeholders is key to public understanding and consumer confidence,” said Borel. “But it will be our stewardship of the technology — how we use it, manage it and regulate it — that will ultimately determine how quickly and how fully the potential of the technology will be realized.”
BioJapan 2009 brings together opinion leaders in biotechnology from major corporations, venture companies, financial institutions, government agencies and other organizations from around the globe to discuss the future of the world's bioindustries. The event provides a forum to create networks, which will enable technological cooperation, joint development and research collaboration, investment, and other bioindustry business opportunities.

DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont™, The miracles of science™ and Sorona® are registered trademarks or trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates.

Additional resources:
DuPont Renewably Sourced Materials:
Butamax Advanced Biofuels:
DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol:

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