The Alternative Fuels and Chemicals Coalition, a bioeconomy industry group, held its second annual Global Biobased Economy Conference this week just outside Washington DC. The mood was optimistic as start-ups and other companies working on biobased fuels and chemicals met with customers, suppliers, consultants, regulators, and advocacy groups in between four tracks of panel discussions and keynote addresses. Attendance at the in-person event was roughly 400, up from the previous year.One common note sounded by attendees was that the industry is looking for talent. Leaders from DMC Biotechnologies, one of C&EN’s 10 Start-Ups to Watch for this year, ended their two presentations with slides that read “We are hiring!” and sang the praises of Boulder, Colorado, and Raleigh, NC, where it has operations.Joseph McAuliffe, a technical fellow at the flavor and fragrance firm IFF, said the job market is especially hot for analytical chemists and fermentation engineers. “It’s not a place formally trained analytical chemists usually go,” he said of bioeconomy companies, but “demand for analytical scientists will only increase.”
My view of analytical chemist demand is that it is always pretty good, but it's nice to see it being highlighted!