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DOE announces $178 million investment to advance bioenergy technology

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Washington DC – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today pushes sustainable technology breakthroughs that can improve public health, combat climate change, improve food and agricultural production, and build more resilient supply chains announced a $178 million commitment to bioenergy research for This funding will support cutting-edge biotechnology research and development in bioenergy crops, industrial microbes and microbiomes. Alternative clean energy sources like bioenergy are playing a key role in achieving President Biden’s goal of net-zeroing his economy by 2050.

“By producing cheaper energy from organic matter such as plants, food and waste, we can put money in the pockets of energy consumers and prevent carbon pollution from reaching the atmosphere.” U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm“These projects will continue to push the boundaries of biotechnology forward, create high-paying jobs, and support the emergence of a thriving U.S. bioeconomy that will help meet climate change goals.”

Discovering, understanding, and harnessing nature’s sophisticated capabilities allows us to address a wide range of topics related to DOE’s mission in sustainable bioenergy development. This includes the production of sustainably grown crops for bioenergy and bioproducts to tackle climate change. The Biotechnology Fund will support:

  • Research on renewable bioenergy and biomaterial production To develop new bioproduction platforms, including research on systems and synthetic biology, bioenergy crops, industrial microbes and algae, and computer modeling on microbial communities. (Funding amount: $99.7 million)
  • Quantum-enabled bioimaging and sensing for bioenergy To develop state-of-the-art instruments and biological sensors that facilitate the study of plant and microbial systems relevant to bioenergy and environmental research. (Funding amount: $18 million)
  • Studies characterizing gene function in bioenergy crops Promote the development of new bioenergy feedstocks with properties tailored to the development of bioenergy and bioproducts. (Funding amount: $27.4 million)
  • Understanding the role of the microbiome Genomics-based and systems biology studies in the biogeochemical cycling of elements in terrestrial soils and wetlands. (Funding amount: $33 million)

These projects were selected by competitive peer review under four DOE funding opportunity announcements sponsored by the Biological and Environmental Research Program within the Department’s Office of Science. Quantum-enabled bioimaging and sensing approaches for bioenergy. Systems biology has enabled microbiome research to facilitate predictions of interactions and behaviors in the environment. and genomics-enabled plant biology for the determination of gene function.

Total funding is $178 million for projects lasting up to five years, including $47 million in dollars for fiscal year 2022 and out-of-year funding subject to Congressional budgets. See here for a list of projects and more information.