Writer: Kathleen Phillips, (979) 845-2872,email@example.com
Contact: Dr. Gene Nelson, (979) 845-2116,firstname.lastname@example.org
AUSTIN — Developing a strategic plan that will allow Texas to become a national leader in agricultural biotechnology and allied life science technologies will be the focus of a summit September 29-30 at the Omni Southpark Hotel here.
The Summit on Biotechnology for Agriculture, Food, Fiber, and Health is expected to attract scientists, investors, economic development specialists, policy makers, agricultural interests, food processors, consumers and natural resources leaders to develop an action plan to “capture the value of the bio-based economy that is being created through the applications of these technologies.”
The event is sponsored by the Texas Agricultural and Natural Resources Summit Initiative, an apolitical forum begun in 1993 for people concerned about Texas’ food, fiber, and natural resource, and founded on the principle that Texans can find workable solutions to any challenge.
“The focus of the summit is on the development of biotechnology, the transfer of that technology from the laboratory to commercial development and the use of that technology for the economic benefit of the state,” said Dr. John Mullet, director of the Crop Biotechnology Center at Texas A&M University and chair of the summit program planning committee.
“The scope will include biotechnology and allied technologies related to food, fiber and health product development,” he said.
The conference will include general informational sessions and breakout work groups. The issues for discussion, organizers say, will include: the role of Texas universities in developing biotechnology and the diffusion of innovation to producers and consumers; managing the impact of biotechnology for maximum benefit and minimal risk for consumers and natural resources; coordination of the marketing chain for biotechnology derived products; new alliances and organizational structures needed; policies and institutions needed to facilitate the transfer of biotechnology from labs to commercial development; and, specific biotechnology applications and key technologies that should be emphasized in Texas.
“The application of biotechnology and allied life science technologies to agriculture is reshaping agriculture and agribusiness at a scale that is revolutionary in scope,” said Dr. Gene Nelson, Texas A&M University agricultural economics department chair and summit leader. He said that change will impact all sectors of the economy, but “above all, the future competitiveness of Texas agriculture and the high technology sector of the Texas economy is at stake.”
Registration is $90 per person until Sept. 10, then $105 until Sept. 29. More information is available from the Texas Agricultural and Natural Resources Summit Initiative, Room 113 Administration Building, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-2142, (979) 845-2340, fax (409) 845-9938, or email Joe Benningfield,email@example.com.