The Economist’s Innovation Award for Bioscience given to Dr Venter

Winner's genomic research recognised as potential to revolutionise personal medicine, pharmaceuticals, and biofuels Come and meet Dr Venter, president of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), as he accepts an award at The Economist's Innovation Awards Ceremony in London on October 29th.

- Following the discovery of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), scientific research has evolved from understanding how to decode and map genomes to seek ways of building synthetic genomes from scratch.

- J. Craig Venter has been at the forefront of this research for almost two decades and currently leads organisations dedicated to human, microbial, plant, synthetic, and environmental genomic research. Through his discoveries, Venter has opened up the scientific research of the microbial world and how it affects humans. Many scientists predict that these discoveries may revolutionise personal medicine, pharmaceuticals and biofuels in coming years. Examples include individualised genomic medicine; new vaccines and treatments for worldwide health threats; and new ways to develop biologically-driven sources of energy.

- More recently, Synthetic Genomics, a biotechnology company founded by Venter, announced an investment of US$600m by ExxonMobil to produce fuels from algae—organisms in water that range from pond scum to seaweed.

- The Economist looks forward to presenting this year's Bioscience Innovation Award to J. Craig Venter, along with the other 2009 Award Winners, at this year's award ceremony, held at the London's Science museum on October 29th. The Innovation summit follows the day after, at the Dorchester Hotel—a unique event focusing on the interface between innovation and business, where this year's winners will discuss how their innovative ideas became reality.

- The Economist's Eighth Annual Innovation Summit provides an opportunity for delegates to meet the greatest thinkers and doers of this world in an inspirational setting, take away content relevant to their business and hear from the 2009 Innovation Award winners. The full programme includes speakers such as Dr Joseph Adelegan, President of Green Globe Trust Founder and Cows to Kilowatts Partnership, who is campaigning on issues of eco-efficiency, climate change, and eco-solutions and renewable energy in Africa. Dr Adelegan will be joined by Dr Sergio Kapusta, Chief Scientist-Materials at Shell, who will be talking about the company's work to help safely recover more of the world's oil and gas from existing fields using some of the most innovative structures in energy exploration.

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