USDA, DOE Invest Up to $18 M in Biomass R&D

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer and U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman recently announced that combined, the departments will invest up to $18.4 million, over three years, for 21 biomass research and development (R&D), and demonstration projects.

These projects specifically aim to address critical barriers to making production of biomass more efficient and cost-effective.

"These grants help fund the innovative research needed to develop technologies and systems that lead to the production of bio-based products and biofuels," Schafer said. "Funding new technologies will help make biofuels competitive with fossil fuels in the commercial market, putting America on the path of reducing its dependence on foreign oil."

Funding for the projects will be provided through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, a joint USDA-DOE effort established in 2000 to develop the next generation of clean, bio-based technologies.

Grant recipients are required to raise a minimum of 20 percent matching funds for R&D projects, and 50 percent matching funds for demonstration projects. USDA will provide up to $13,225,554, and DOE will provide up to $5,223,535 (Fiscal Years 2007-2009). Grants are subject to negotiation and will begin immediately, and funding is subject to appropriations from Congress.

Research and development grants went to Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey; Agrivida, Inc. of Massachusetts.; University of Florida;  Ceres Inc. of California; Regents of the University of Colorado; North Carolina State University; Regents of the University of Minnesota; University of Kentucky Research Foundation; Battelle Memorial Institute, on behalf of DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington; Packer Engineering of Illinois; Kansas State University; the University of Akron in Ohio; Purdue University in Indiana; Iowa State University;  Cornell University in New York; GE Global Research in New York;

Demonstration grants went to Texas Engineering Experimental Station and  Washington State University.

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