Jeff Broin, CEO of Sioux Falls-based biorefiner Poet, received a prestigious award this week for his contributions to the field of industrial biotechnology.
Broin was awarded the George Washington Carver Award in a ceremony at the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in Montreal on Monday.
The Carver Award recognizes “significant contributions by individuals in the field of industrial biotechnology and its application in biological engineering, environmental science, biorefining, and biobased products.”
Previous recipients have included CEOs of DuPont and Dr. J. Craig Venter, Co-Founder of Synthetic Genomics and Executive Chairman of Human Longevity.
“Jeff Broin is one of the great innovators and entrepreneurs in the industrial biotechnology sector,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, in a news release. “He ranks among the most influential leaders in agriculture as well. Biofuels have created new markets for agricultural products and rejuvenated rural America. Jeff Broin has positioned POET at the forefront of developing cellulosic ethanol and improving the economics of biofuel production.”
Broin built Poet from a small facility in Scotland into the largest biofuels producer in the world, annually producing 1.8 billion gallons of fuel and 10 billion pounds of high-protein animal feed, among other products.
“I am very humbled by this award. George Washington Carver was an historic leader in finding new potential in agricultural products to meet the world’s needs,” Broin said. “That’s what we strive to do each day at POET, whether it’s producing biofuel from starch and cellulose or finding new or better ways to produce co-products such as distillers grain, corn oil, fiber, liquefied CO2 and more. I believe agriculture is the key to solving many of our world’s challenges.”
Broin is also due to be inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in September.