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TN Rep. to keynote Biomass Conference
      MEMPHIS, Tennessee, October 11, 2010 – Biomass South 2010, presented by The Memphis Bioworks® Foundation’s AgBioworks™ Regional Initiative and the Southern Growth Policies Board, today announced the addition of U.S. Representative Steve Cohen to the key influencers and experts in the field of Biomass speaking at the conference.  Biomass South is the premier event establishing the South’s leadership position in the critical transformation of the global economy from a fossil fuel economy to a bio-based renewable resource economy.  The conference will be held October 14 and 15 at the University of Memphis Holiday Inn Conference Center.
      U.S. Representative Steve Cohen serves Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District encompassing Memphis and parts of Shelby County.   An active and respected member of the Congress, Cohen has sponsored numerous legislative initiatives and championed issues to bring jobs and federal dollars to the area.  He will deliver the Biomass South Keynote Address on Friday morning, October 15.  Dallas Tonsager, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Rural Development, will deliver the keynote address on Thursday morning, October 14. 
        The basis of the bio-economy is the utilization of renewable biological raw materials called biomass – agricultural crops and forestry materials which can effectively harness solar energy – which can then serve as the building blocks to replace petroleum in many products such as biofuels, green chemicals, novel polymers, and many other materials. 
       “The addition of these speakers further exemplifies the role of Biomass in our future, and the leadership position that the South will hold in this new economy,” said D. Steven Bares, president and executive director of the Memphis Bioworks Foundation.  “The Southern Region of the United States is poised for leadership in every area of the bioeconomy, and this conference will examine the emerging forces, trends and opportunities across each discipline, from farm to factory and beyond.”
       Among the companies and organizations attending the two-day program are ArborGen, Buckeye Technologies, Ceres, Chromatin, Duke University, EcoSynthetix, Entira, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Monsanto Company, National Algae Association, National Farmers Union, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, PMC Biogenix, ShowMe Energy, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, University of Memphis, University of Tennessee, Verdant Partners and many more. 
      Attendees to Biomass South will hear the very best speakers from the worlds of entrepreneurial biobusiness, agriculture, energy, manufacturing, logistics, finance, academia and government.  For more information on Biomass South, and to register, please visit www.biomasssouth2010.wordpress.com.  
About AgBioworks:
      AgBioworks™ is a non-profit regional initiative founded by Memphis Bioworks Foundation and BioDimensions dedicated to reducing the barriers to introducing new agricultural crops, farmer-owned processing, and new technologies which will result in a strong bioeconomy in the Mississippi Delta. AgBioworks has three regional offices co-located at the Regional Business Innovation Center at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky; Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce in Sikeston, Missouri, and at the Memphis Bioworks Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee. AgBioworks is also partnering with strong organizations in other states across the region.  Memphis Bioworks Foundation is a non-profit organization leading the collaboration between public, private, academic and government entities to accelerate the growth of the biosciences in the Memphis region. For more information, visit www.agbioworks.org and www.memphisbioworks.org.
About Southern Growth Policies Board:
       Southern Growth Policies Board is a non-partisan public policy think tank based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Formed by the region's governors in 1971, Southern Growth Policies Board develops and advances visionary economic development policies by providing a forum for partnership and dialog among a diverse cross-section of the region's governors, legislators, business and academic leaders and the economic- and community-development sectors. This unique public-private partnership is devoted to strengthening the South's economy and creating the highest possible quality of life.  For more information, visit www.southerngrowth.com.

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