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News Release

Release No. 0034.09
USDA: Jennifer Martin (202) 720-8188
DOE: Phil West (202) 586-4940

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USDA, DOE Announce Up to $25 Million in Funding for Biomass Research and Development Initiative

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2009 – The U.S. Departments of Energy (DOE) and Agriculture (USDA) today announced up to $25 million in funding for research and development of technologies and processes to produce biofuels, bioenergy, and high-value biobased products, subject to annual appropriations.

"These projects will be among many 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 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 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."

USDA and DOE are issuing this joint funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for several types of projects aimed at increasing the availability of alternative renewable fuels and biobased products. The projects will aim to create a diverse group of economically and environmentally sustainable sources of renewable biomass. Advanced biofuels produced from these types of sources are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 50 percent.

The FOA will fund projects in the following three technical areas specified in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act (FCEA) of 2008:

  • Feedstocks development;
  • Biofuels and biobased products development; and,
  • Biofuels development analysis.

Award amounts are planned to range from $1 million to up to $5 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, non-profit organizations, or a consortium of two or more of those entities.

The FOA is available online at The closing date for pre-applications is March 6, 2009, which must be submitted electronically. A minimum recipient cost-share of at least 20 percent of total project cost for research and development projects and 50 percent of total project cost for demonstration projects is required.

For more information about other USDA and DOE efforts, visit the USDA's Energy webpage and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.