Berkeley Continues to go “Green” in a $100B+ Industry
Going “green” in chemistry has become a lot more lucrative than was anticipated just 18 short months ago. In June of 2013, Biotechnology Calendar Inc. reported that the green chemistry market was expected to grow from $2.8 billion in 2011 to $98.5B by 2020 and will save the industry $65.5B. However, recent reports indicate that we may actually see growth in the bio-based chemicals market from $78B in 2012 to $198B by 2017, eventually accounting for 50% of the chemicals market by 2050.
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The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) defines green chemistry as “the design, manufacture and use of efficient, effective, safe and more environmentally benign chemical products and processes. More specifically, green chemistry should use fewer hazardous and harmful feedstocks and reagents; improve the energy and material efficiency of chemical processes; use renewable feedstocks or wastes in preference to fossil fuels or mined resources; and design chemical products for better reuse or recycling.”
Popular categories of green chemistry include biochemical fuel cells, biodegradable packaging, aqueous solvents, white biotechnology (the application of biotechnology for industrial purposes), totally chlorine-free bleaching technologies and green plastics. Also popular in the apparel industry in recent years, advanced material and green chemistry are starting to gain traction, especially in the areas of activewear and wearable technology.
In recent years, according to the National Science Foundation, more and more researchers have been trying to find environmentally benign ways to manufacture products, create chemical reactions, treat waste, generate energy and monitor air and water.
The University of California, Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry (BCGC) is one of several research institutions that currently focus on advancing green chemistry through research, education and engagement. Their goal is to develop a world-class research program that designs novel chemical processes and materials and investigates new approaches to toxicity testing, exposure analysis, and alternatives assessment.
According to the university website, BCGC aims to provide technical support to decision-makers, workers, community organizations and businesses working to advance green chemistry. This will be accomplished by integrating the chemical sciences, environmental health sciences, and the study of public and private governance into a cohesive interdisciplinary educational program. A BCGC study reports:
“Every day, the U.S. produces or imports 74 billion pounds of chemical substances for use in products and industrial processes. These substances ultimately enter Earth’s environment, and hundreds of chemicals are routinely detected in people and ecosystems worldwide. While synthetic chemicals have delivered critical advances in medicine and technology, many of these substances are known to be hazardous. Publicly available data on the toxicity of many other is virtually non-existent.”
Watch the video below to learn more about Berkeley’s Green Chemistry:
As a leading bioresearch institution, UC Berkeley is in a position to capitalize on millions in “green chemistry” and other funding dollars from the NSF, NIH, private funding and donations, in order to advance important and cutting-edge life science research. Some recent examples include:
- The National Institute Of General Medical Sciences provided researchers at Berkeley with $464,404 for a single macromolecular function study in 2013.
- UC Berkeley reports an average $208 million in annual research expenditures.
- The University of California, Berkeley College of Chemistry is redesigning and rebuilding its chemistry and chemical engineering labs funded with $30 million to create a 22,000 square foot facility.
- The National Science Foundation has provided Berkeley’s BCGC with a 2-year, $300,000 grant to develop an Interdisciplinary Approach to Green Chemistry and Ethics Education, beginning with a new interdisciplinary course, the Public Ethics of Green Chemistry.
Laboratory equipment vendors and consumables suppliers interested in marketing directly to researchers can consider UC Berkeley a premier market for green products. As an example of the life science industry’s faith in Berkeley as a leading research institution, NIH funding at Berkeley was increased significantly $119M in 2013 to $151M in 2014.
If you are a biotechnology or lab equipment vendor interested in marketing environmental life science solutions and increasing scientific product sales for green products, you can attend the BioResearch Product Faire™ Event at UC Berkeley on Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Last year, the event at UC Berkeley attracted 116 attendees, including 19 purchasing agents, professors and post docs, and 26 lab managers from 15 different research buildings and 21 on campus departments.
Click below to learn more about marketing directly to the well-funded and active chemists, scientists and researchers at University of California, Berkeley. Register today to take advantage of Early Registration Pricing, effect until March 4, 2015.
Author Robert Larkin
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