In October we hosted a talk on renewable resources and the bioeconomy featuring Professor George Philippidis, Associate Dean at the Patel College of Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida. Prof. Philippidis’ background is in chemical engineering and cleantech and his current research focuses on the bioeconomy, which he defines as a sustainable, renewable, resource-based economy. More specifically, he is interested in developing sustainable processes for several renewable resources: microorganisms (algae for biofuels and nutraceuticals), agricultural biomass (use of non-edible biomass waste for bioproducts) and oil seed crops (both inedible crops and used vegetable oil fats for biodiesel).
Prof. Philippidis drew on his experience to emphasize the interrelatedness of many sustainability challenges. For example, there are many links between issues of rural poverty, migration, urbanization and the biofuel industry. He also highlighted the need to consider sustainability across the entirety of new processes, not just in terms of raw resources and/or end products. Based on his experience in the cleantech industry he emphasized the need for policy to help move research discoveries from the lab to society, as well as the importance of developing multiple renewable resource technologies (as opposed to focusing on one) in order to provide flexibility from a business standpoint.
You can watch the full talk here.