Tell us about your company and it’s role in the Advanced Bioeconomy.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development(DEED)is the state’s principal economic development agency.DEED programs promote business recruitment, expansion, and retention; international trade;workforce development; and community development. The Advanced Bioeconomy is one of Minnesota’s strong core industries.
Tell us about your role and what you are focused on in the next 12 months.
Minnesota is already a leader in the biofuels, advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals, biobased materials and products industry due to it’s exceptional base of talent and expertise; experience and proven track record of success; diverse feedstock availability; infrastructure; and supportive public policy. My role as the industry specialist with DEED is to continue to expand Minnesota’s bioindustrial cluster through strategies that include:
1. Providing a production payment incentive for advanced biofuel, renewable chemical and biomass thermal facilities;
1. Ensure funding options for large demonstration and commercial scale facilities;
2. Communicate Minnesota’s competitive advantage as a global leader in the Advanced Bioeconomy;
3. Leverage and expand academic-industry partnerships;
4. Continue our great work on providing expeditious permitting and an industry friendly regulatory environment.
What do you feel are the most important milestones the industry must achieve in the next 5 years?
There have been amazing advances in biofuel and renewable chemical technologies as well as significant improvements in the value and feedstock supply chains. What we need to see now, and we will, are successful commercial deployments of advanced biofuels and renewable chemicals.
If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the Advanced Bioeconomy, what would you change?
If I could change one thing (which is actually three) I would eliminate the political instability and create markets, maybe through public policy, to create an environment that encourages significant private investment.
Of all the reasons that influenced you to join the Advanced Bioeconomy industry, what single reason stands out for you as still being compelling and important to you?
I watched how the ethanol industry impacted rural Minnesota – the 1.1 billion gallons of ethanol produced each year generates an estimated $5B in economic output and creates over 12, 500 jobs. The growth of the advanced bioeconomy would have the same economic impact and Minnesota is uniquely poised to be a leader in the industry.
Where are you from?
New Berlin, WI