News from 35th SBFC

Biotechnology for Biofuels attended the 35th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals  (29th April – 1st May) hosted by the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB).

Jim McMillan (NREL, meeting co-organizer and Associate Editor for Biotechnology for Biofuels) opened the meeting. He mentioned the long history of the Symposium and how in recent years, the scope had become broader to include bio-based chemicals. Jim also spoke of climate change and the growing need for renewable biofuels. The opening keynote speaker, Lee Lynd (Dartmouth, MASCOMA corp.), focused upon cellulosic fuels and addressed three key questions/challenges faced by biofuels industry based around need, economics and land. Professor Lynd gave an interesting overview of sustainable intensification of land use and his work with the Global sustainable bioenergy project. Further information on the full program and topics can be found here.

The meeting was well attended, with over 700 delegates from 29 countries. Many researchers present were from the US and Canada, with good representation from Brazil, Korea and China. The BioMed Central booth was very busy and in my role as Journal Development Editor for Biotechnology for Biofuels, I had a great opportunity to speak with many of the editors, authors and reviewers involved with the journal.

During the Symposium, we held an Editorial Board meeting for Biotechnology for Biofuels. Fourteen board members attended the meeting and we had some useful discussion around peer-review and criteria for publication in the journal. Since last year’s Impact Factor increase, there has been a rapid increase in submissions to the journal, including work of mixed quality. One of the main outcomes of the meeting was an agreement to maintain the high quality of publications and establish an improved set of criteria or values, for Associate Editors and reviewers to use in assessment of submissions. Further details of these criteria will be shared with editors, authors and reviewers for the journal, in due course.

Many congratulations are due to our Associate Editor, Liisa Viikari, who was awarded the Charles D. Scott Award at this year’s SBFC Symposium. The award, named after the Symposium founder, recognizes individuals who have made distinguished contributions to enable and further the use of biotechnology to produce fuels and chemicals. Past winners of the award include several board members and Editors-in-Chief of Biotechnology for Biofuels, as you can see in the list below:

Past Awardees of the Charles D Scott Award

1995 – 17th Symposium – Donald J. Johnson
1996 – 18th Symposium – Bruce Dale
1997 – 19th Symposium – Raphael Katzen
1998 – 20th Symposium – Jack Saddler (Editorial Board Member)
1999 – 21st Symposium – Charles E. Wyman (Editor-in-Chief)
2000 – 22nd Symposium – Karel Grohman
2001 – 23rd Symposium – Patrick Foody
1001 – 24th Symposium – Sharon Shoemaker
2003 – 25th Symposium – Thomas W. Jeffries
2004 – 26th Symposium – Guido Zacchi (Editorial Board Member)
2005 – 27th Symposium – Lee Lynd
2006 – 28th Symposium – Brian Davison
2006 – 28th Symposium – Mark Finkelstein
2007 – 29th Symposium – Lonnie O. Ingram
2008 – 30th Symposium – Barbel Hahn-Hagerdal (founding Editor-in-Chief)
2009 – 31st Symposium – Michael R. Ladisch (Editorial Board Member)
2010 – 32nd Symposium – Michael E. Himmel (Editor-in-Chief)
2011 – 33rd Symposium – Steve Picataggio
2012 – 34th Symposium – Jens Neilsen
2013 – 35th Symposium – Liisa Viiikari (Associate Editor)



Helen Whitaker

Journal Development Manager at BioMed Central
Helen is part of the Biological Sciences publishing team at BioMed Central. She obtained her PhD in molecular ecology from the University of Glasgow, UK. Her post-doctoral studies in aquaculture genetics took her from Scotland to South Africa, before joining BMC in 2008.

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