BCN Director, David Bressler, spoke at the Southeast Bioenergy Conference held Aug 3-5, 2010 in Tifton, Georgia. Dr. Bressler was invited and hosted by the Consulate General of Canada (Atlanta and Miami offices). Under the theme “Building a Vibrant Renewable Energy Market for the Southeast”, the conference included presentations by local and international experts from the bioenergy research and business communities. Dr. Bressler spoke about the future job market within the bioindustrial sector, indentifying the critical skill sets needed and highlighting the enhanced opportunities if a biorefinery model is implemented.
After the conference, Dr. Bressler travelled to Florida with Canadian Consulate Trade Commissioners to participate in meetings with Drs. Lonnie Ingram and Tim Anderson as well as several other prominent members of the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, the University of Florida, and Florida State University, all of which are members of the Florida Energy Systems Consortium: a multi-institutional group of researchers who have prioritized development of Florida’s biomass resources. The meetings were also attended by Jay Levenstein, a Deputy Commissioner in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. During their discussions it became clear that the southeastern US and Alberta share a lot of similarities with respect to being key biomass producing regions in their respective countries and possessing a common attitude towards the development of innovative technologies for biomass conversion. Opportunities to work together, including potential collaboration on research projects, are now being explored.