Washington, DC [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] The purpose of a conference in early January on industrial biotechnology in the Pacific Rim countries “is to highlight the emerging field of industrial biotechnology, which is being used to convert agricultural wastes to renewable energy and to make many types of manufacturing processes more environmentally sustainable,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section.Japan and other Pacific Rim nations are increasingly looking for sustainable sources of energy, and cleaner, more efficient methods of industrial production, including new ways to make pharmaceuticals and other chemicals. Biotech applications that can enable industrial processes to use agricultural instead of petrochemical feedstocks are growing in importance in the Pacific Rim countries. The Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy will take place in Honolulu January 11-13, 2006. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, and the state of Hawaii will host the Japanese Bio Mission, which includes Japanese BIO Mission include the Committee for Energy Policy Promotion, RIKEN Plant Science Center, Bio Matrix Research Inc., Kona Stones Inc., and Osaka University. BIO is sponsoring the conference in conjunction with the state of Hawaii, the University of Hawaii, the Hawaii Life Sciences Council (HLSC), Enterprise Honolulu, and the Oceanic Institute. “BIO sees regional bio-based economies emerging in various states of complexity and development. The trend is clear that industrial biotech is growing in importance in the Pacific Rim countries,” said Erickson.