The bioeconomy comprises the use renewable biological resources from land and sea – such as crops, forests, fish, animals and micro-organisms – to produce food, materials and energy. A new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that in 2014, the biobased products industry contributed $393 billion and 4.2 million jobs to America's recovering economy. The report also indicates that the sector grew from 2013 to 2014, creating or supporting an additional 220,000 jobs and $24 billion over that period. This session will focus on developing markets and competitiveness in bioeconomy sectors.
Joe Hrdlicka attended the University of Missouri School of Journalism and worked in various political campaigns before coming to Iowa in 1992 to work for Rep. Jim Lightfoot. After his work with Lightfoot, Mr. Hrdlicka joined the marketing firm Strategic America as director of public relations. Following his tenure at Strategic America, he served 13 years with the Iowa Lottery.
Murray McLaughlin is president of McLaughlin Consultants and consults on the bioeconomy, agriculture and forestry sectors with respect to building the bioeconomy in Canada. He is an advisor to Bioindustrial Innovation Canada on international and government relations. Mr. McLaughlin was the founding executive director of BIC and the Sustainable Chemistry Alliance with a focus on a sustainable bioeconomy.