USDA & DOE Offer Bioenergy Grants To Further Feedstock Research

Two grants for research leading to the improved use of biomass and plant feedstocks for the production of ethanol — or cellulosic ethanol — are now being offered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

“All possibilities for growth in biofuels production must be explored to decrease our dependence on foreign oil,” said U.S. Senator Dick Lugar (R-Ind.).

The first funding announcement pertains to Plant Feedstock Genomics Research: Specifically, applications are sought for fundamental research on plants that will improve biomass characteristics, biomass yield, or sustainability. Applications, accepted through January 23, 2008, must be submitted electronically at www.grants.gov.

The second funding announcement pertains to Biomass Research: Specifically the DOE and the USDA jointly solicit applications for financial assistance addressing research and development of biomass based products, bioenergy, biofuels, and related processes. The closing date for applications is November 16, 2007.

“While the challenges are great, there is reason for optimism,” added Lugar. “Our current energy balance is the result of industrial and consumption choices of the past. Despite our import dependence today, the U.S. is in a strong position to choose a different path, a path toward real energy security.”

Eligible applicants include U.S. colleges and universities, non-profit organizations, for-profit commercial organizations, state and local governments and unaffiliated individuals. Consortia of two or more groups also are encouraged to apply.

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