PUNE: The National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) and Praj Industries recently organized a national conference titled “Unleashing the Power of Bioeconomy” in Pune, India. The conference featured globally renowned thought leader Jim Lane, Founder of US-based Biofuel Digest, as the chief guest. Lane spoke about the potential for India to become a global leader in the bioeconomy by leveraging the recently launched Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA) during its presidency. He highlighted India’s ample sun, land, and agriculture resources, which have made it a powerhouse of bioenergy to facilitate energy transition. Lane also emphasized the need to become carbon neutral by harnessing biofuels and biochemicals to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Other speakers at the conference included Dr. Ashish Lele, Director of NCL, Dr. Pramod Chaudhari, Founder Chairman of Praj Industries, and Royal Society Fellow and Senior Scientist Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar. They discussed the social, environmental, and energy aspects of the bioeconomy and the need for a holistic and all-inclusive approach to accelerate its growth. Dr. Mashelkar emphasized the importance of policy and technology going hand in hand, while Dr. Chaudhari called for judicious use of genetically modified crops to maximize yields and productivity while conserving the environment.
Dr. Ashish Lele highlighted the need to move away from the traditional practice of stubble burning and instead utilize biomass for the production of biofuels and renewable chemicals and materials on a waste-to-wealth principle. He also praised Pune’s facilities for research and development in bioeconomy and its thriving ecosystem for start-ups.
The conference also featured a panel discussion on the importance of biomanufacturing in building a bio-economy, with Dr. Asha Kembhavi, Bio Technologist, and Dr. Prashant Dhakefalkar, Director of Agharkar Research Institute, participating.
This conference highlighted India’s potential to become a global leader in bioeconomy and the need for a collaborative approach to harness its resources and technologies for sustainable development.