GLBRC Director Tim Donohue to testify March 3 about the future bioeconomy

U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation's logo overlaid on images that represent the bioeconomy
The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation's Subcommittee on Science, Oceans, Fisheries, and Weather will hold a hearing on March 3, 2020 on the U.S. bioeconomy.
Matthew Wisniewski

Tim Donohue, UW Foundation Fetzer-Bascom Professor of Bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and interim director of the Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI), will present testimony at 10 a.m. EST on Tuesday, March 3, before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Science, Oceans, Fisheries, and Weather in Washington, D.C., about the opportunities and challenges of the bioeconomy.

The sustainable and economical production of chemicals, fuels and other products from renewable biological sources is a major focus area of research and economic growth around the world. This advanced bioeconomy has the potential to open new markets, create jobs and generate economic opportunities for communities nationwide, while reducing the environmental impacts of producing power, fuels and chemicals.

GLBRC Director Tim Donohue Tim Donohue, UW Foundation Fetzer-Bascom Professor of Bacteriology at UW–Madison

The hearing, titled “Securing U.S. Leadership in the Bioeconomy,” will examine the bioeconomy, the federal government’s role in the bioeconomy and the potential risks from such research. A live webcast of the hearing will be broadcast on

Donohue is an international expert on the bio-based conversion of renewable resources into fuels, chemicals and other products. As director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) located at UW–Madison, he oversees a team of over 400 scientists, students and staff working to develop sustainable alternatives to the transportation fuels and products currently derived from petroleum. Donohue has served on numerous federal and international research and advisory panels, led large federally funded cross-disciplinary biotechnology graduate training programs and is a past president and current secretary of the American Society for Microbiology.

In his testimony, Donohue will discuss the status and needs of the bioeconomy research space, the research at WEI and GLBRC that could accelerate rural economic development, and the bioeconomy’s workforce and technology development needs.

Since 2007, GLBRC has trained over 1,000 students and staff, made discoveries contained in over 200 patent applications and 100 licensed technologies, and provided the scientific knowledge that has formed the basis of five start-up companies.

The subcommittee hearing begins at 10 a.m. EST. Following the hearing, Donohue will be available via cell phone at (608) 262-4663 or

Press Contacts:

CONTACT: Tim Donohue, (608) 262-4663,

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