President Bush Visits Novozymes US headquarters, hosts panel discussion on advancements in biofuels technology

Novozymes issued the following statement regarding U.S. President George W. Bush’s visit to company facilities in North Carolina today.

President Bush toured the company’s North Carolina production operations and research and development laboratories, with a specific focus on Novozymes’ innovative cellulosic ethanol conversion technologies and commercialization efforts.

Novozymes, the world leader in industrial biotechnology, has been instrumental in revolutionizing the production of transportation fuel in this country through application of its enzyme technology for ethanol, both based on corn starch, and, in collaboration with the Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratories, on agricultural residues such as corn stover.

Strategically, Novozymes is mobilizing its global resources to continue delivering critical integrated technologies to improve the efficiency and economic viability and accelerate growth of the bioethanol industry while remaining committed to its strong sustainability and environmental philosophies. Novozymes produces more than half the commercial enzymes sold for ethanol production in the United States.

During the visit the President hosted a panel discussion with Thomas Nagy, president, Novozymes North America, and Dr. Kevin Wenger, who leads the NC-based R&D team which, together with Novozymes’ Davis-based protein engineering facility, successfully reduced the enzyme cost of converting biomass (in this case corn stover) into fermentable sugars for fuel ethanol production. The roundtable was attended by official guest and more than 200 Novozymes employees.

Novozymes North America President Thomas Nagy stated “On behalf of our Board of Directors and all of our 4500 employees globally, we are both humbled and proud that President Bush accepted our invitation to visit Novozymes to experience first-hand the work being carried out by our researchers to accelerate and support the traditional and burgeoning cellulosic ethanol markets.”

Novozymes President and CEO Steen Riisgaard added "It's been a great honour and privilege to have President George W. Bush visit us today. We have had the unique opportunity of sharing our perspectives on the use of alternative energy and we appreciate the excellent and continuous cooperation with the President and his administration on developing sustainable solutions for the future".

"We discussed with President Bush the importance of enzymes as a critical tool in making ethanol a commercially viable alternative energy that can make the world less dependent on oil. Using enzymes in the production of renewable fuels is the most sustainable way to cut production costs, decrease investment needs and reduce pollution," concluded Riisgaard.

With a 60-year history, Novozymes is the world’s largest and most diversified provider of industrial biotechnology pioneering the replacement of chemicals with enzymes in a broad variety of industries such as laundry detergents, animal feed and the bio-fuel industry. The company has topped the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the past five consecutive years.