President and CEO of Michigan Biotechnology Institute (MBI) in Lansing. MBI's focus is in industrial or white biotechnology, the production of fuels, chemicals, polymers, proteins, and other materials from renewable resources. A nonprofit organization, MBI developed the concept of "de-risking," a systematic, trans-disciplinary approach designed to bridge the gap between research and commercial application for promising bio-based technologies. MBI became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Michigan State University (MSU) Foundation in 2005 and a member of the MSU BioEconomy Network. It has an integrated laboratory, a staff of 30, and collaborates with university and industry partners to accelerate the commercialization of bio-based technologies. Under Bringi's leadership, MBI is receiving up to $4.3 million to improve pre-treatment processes in biofuels development from the Department of Energy's Biomass Program as part of the Obama administration's efforts to cut foreign oil imports. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture honored MSU for being one of the greenest green research institutions in the country, recognizing MSU and MBI researchers for developments in sustainable fuel and agriculture. Previously, Bringi cofounded and built Phyton, a biotechnology company with U.S. and German R&D and manufacturing operations. Phyton pioneered and commercialized plant cell fermentation technology to produce the anti-cancer drug paclitaxel and developed long-term supply and licensing partnerships. Bringi has been a featured speaker with groups such as the Milken Institute Global Conference, TEDx Lansing, and the Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy. He is an adjunct visiting professor in chemical engineering and material science at MSU and serves on the advisory board at Cornell University's School of Chemical Engineering. Majoring in chemical engineering, Bringi received his bachelor's degree from Banaras Hindu University's Institute of Technology, master's from Colorado State University, and PhD from Cornell.
WHERE BORN: “Pune, India.”
MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “Aside from my parents, my mentor in graduate school, Professor Mike Schuler at Cornell University. He helped me by fostering my intellectual growth and development.”
LAST BOOK READ: “The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely.”
WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Passionate, enterprising, collaborative, creative, and able to see the forest and the trees.”
WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “Renewable fuels, chemicals, and materials is an emerging, turbulent industry with tremendous future potential. All players - big corporations, startups, government agencies, universities, and private investors - need to work together and they are working together to create a better future. It's an exciting time and place to be in the field.”
FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “My iPhone.”
FAVORITE PLACE: “In Michigan, I like Traverse City, Saugatuck, and surrounding areas; elsewhere, my hometown, which is Mumbai, India. I haven't been there in a long time.”
FAVORITE HOBBIES: “I'm passionate about music. I love reading, yoga, skiing, cooking, and Sunfish sailing.”
FAVORITE FOOD: “You've never heard of it before but it should be a worldwide super food: idlis, a healthy south Indian delicacy.”
MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I'm a self-taught musician and percussionist.”
HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “As someone who inspired and enabled people to collaborate, innovate, and create.”
At the annual awards reception in May 2015, one Leader & Innovator from the previous 12 months will be selected as the Leader & Innovator of the Year.