By Margaret McCormick, PhD, Algae Biomass Organization Board Chair
I am pleased to announce that the Algae Biomass Organization is welcoming its new executive director, Matt Carr, PhD. As we accelerate our industry into the commercialization of fuels, feeds, chemicals and other products that can be sustainably made with algae, we are indeed fortunate to have found an executive director who brings a strong foundation of sector knowledge, policy experience and organizational skills to the table.
Matt has more than a decade of experience in policy advocacy and technology development. Most previously he was Managing Director of the Industrial and Environmental section at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the world’s largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the US and more than 30 other nations.
The Board of Directors is impressed with his deep understanding of the challenges facing the biotechnology community, and what it takes to develop new products and technologies derived from renewable sources.
His ability to develop strong relationships with member companies, understand and articulate their business challenges, as well as his expertise in the issues facing the algae industry make Matt the perfect fit for ABO.
Matt’s appointment is a milestone in ABO’s effort to place a new focus on regulatory and market challenges at a time of rapid growth in the industry. Increasing numbers of companies are manufacturing an incredible range of sustainable products from algae. Technical breakthroughs are increasing in frequency, and the potential impact on economic and energy security is becoming more apparent.
It is more vital than ever for ABO to be the leading voice for algae and this new generation of products.
Among the challenges: We need to make sure the EPA clarifies that growing algae with carbon dioxide is an approved strategy for meeting CO2 emissions reduction goals.
We need renewable energy to be recognized in Master Limited Partnerships, so that a new wave of private investments in algae can be unleashed.
Oil and gas industries have benefited from decades of stable federal subsidies – algae just needs a level playing field.
Continued research and development paired with sensible financing options are what will help this industry reach its full potential—providing jobs in every state, fighting climate change, protecting freshwater supplies, and new consumer products that can make all our lives better.
As ABO members already know, Matt has a good base to work with. We have a new Congressional Algae Caucus, we are building new commercial facilities, and algae-derived products are hitting the market. But there is much, much more to come.
This is a great – and important – time in history to be in this industry.
With Matt leading our efforts, the initiatives I’ve listed here are just the beginning. Look forward to hearing from him in the coming weeks, and please join me in welcoming him to the ABO!
Margaret McCormick, PhD
The above post was featured in Algae InSight, ABO’s monthly newsletter. Sign up for our monthly newsletters here to stay updated on the latest algae industry news.