USDA, DOE announce R&D grant opportunity

By Susanne Retka Schill | January 15, 2009
Web exclusive posted Feb. 4, 2009, at 9:43 a.m. CST

The USDA and U.S. DOE issued a joint funding opportunity announcement (FOA) on Jan. 30, stating that up to $25 million will be granted to the research and development of technologies and processes to produce biofuels, bioenergy and high-value biobased products.

The FOA will fund projects in three technical areas specified in the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008: feedstocks development, biofuels and biobased products development, and biofuels development analysis. The projects will aim to create a diverse group of economically and environmentally sustainable sources of renewable biomass, the agencies said in a statement announcing the grant opportunity. Advanced biofuels produced from these types of sources are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 50 percent when compared to fossil fuels.

"These projects will be among many (U.S. President Barack) Obama Administration investments that will help strengthen our economy and address the climate crisis. A robust biofuels industry focused on the next generation of biofuels is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing our addiction to foreign oil and putting Americans back to work," said U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.

"USDA is committed to research that will support President Obama's goal of dramatically increasing the production of biofuels in the United States," said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "These grants will help support the development of a sustainable domestic biofuels industry by broadening the nation's energy sources as well as improving the efficiency of renewable fuels."

Award amounts are expected to range between $1 million to $4 million with project periods up to four years, subject to annual appropriations. Eligible applicants include institutions of higher education, national laboratories, federal research agencies, state research agencies, private sector entities, nonprofit organizations. A minimum recipient cost-share of at least 20 percent of total project cost for research and development and 50 percent for demonstration projects is required. The deadline for pre-applications is March 6.

The FOA is available online at www.grants.gov.
 
 
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