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Pre-applications due July 11 for USDA/DOE bio-based products grants

The USDA and DOE have announced that they will provide up to $18 million for Fiscal Year 2007 to support research and development of bio-based products, biofuels, bioenergy and related processes. Maximum award amounts will not exceed $1 million. Eligible applicants include state and federal research agencies, national laboratories, private-sector groups and nonprofit organizations. Consortia of two or more groups also are encouraged to apply. The closing date for pre-applications is July 11, 2007. Pre-applications must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov at www.grants.gov . Prospective grantees whose pre-applications have been selected for further processing must submit final applications within 45 days of the notification. For more information, read the following solicitation and press releases:

USDA/DOE Solicitation

DOE Press Release

USDA Press Release

USDA News Release
June 11, 2007
Release No. 0164.07
Contact:
DOE: Julie Ruggiero, (202) 586-4940
USDA: Tim McNeilly (202) 720-4581

USDA, DOE ANNOUNCE $18 MILLION SOLICITATION FOR BIOMASS RESEARCH AND
DEVELOPMENT

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S.
Department of Energy (DOE) today announced a combined total of up to $18
million will be available for research and development of biomass-based
products, biofuels, bioenergy and related processes. USDA and DOE are
issuing these grant solicitations for several types of projects aimed at
increasing the availability of alternative and renewable fuels, which
will help further President Bush’s bold energy initiatives, including
Twenty in Ten. The Twenty in Ten Initiative promotes greater energy
security through increased efficiency and diversification of energy
sources. USDA will provide up to $14 million and DOE will provide up to
$4 million (FY’07).

“Making these funds available represents this Administration’s ongoing
commitment to promoting clean energy technologies to help diversify our
nation’s energy mix in an environmentally sensitive way,” Energy
Secretary Samuel Bodman said. “I am hopeful that these projects will
play a critical role in furthering our knowledge of how we can cost
effectively produce more homegrown, bio-based products to help reduce
our reliance on imported sources of energy.”

“These grants are one of many steps we are taking to meet the
President’s goals of reducing petroleum dependency,” Agriculture
Secretary Mike Johanns said from South Dakota, where he was addressing
the Western Governor’s Association. “They will fund essential research
that not only will lead to the creation of new, sustainable energy
sources, but also will create new uses and markets for agricultural
products.”

The $18 million solicitation will fund projects in the following four
categories (the share of overall funding is noted in parenthesis): the
development of technologies to convert cellulosic biomass into
intermediaries for biobased fuels (45 percent); product diversification
(30 percent); feedstock production (20 percent); and analysis for
strategic guidance (5 percent).

Johanns cited how research and development (R&D) efforts outlined in
past grant awards could develop technology that support the goals of the
President’s 20 in 10 Initiative. In Indiana and Illinois, researchers
from both the pubic and private sector are working to improve dry mill
fractionation. The goal is to increase ethanol production from corn and,
as a by-product of that, to produce protein additives for cattle feed.
It is anticipated that ethanol production estimates could increase
significantly if this research is successful and implemented within the
dry mill fractionation process. When this technology is implemented,
energy savings annually are estimated at about 1,500 billion BTU’s per
dry mill. In addition, penetration at a level of 70% of the dry mills
with this technology could produce an additional 1.2 billion gallons of
ethanol from corn and an additional production of 130 million barrels of
biodiesel.

Reducing our reliance imported sources of energy is one of President
Bush’s top priorities. In effort to break our addiction to oil, the
President’s Farm Bill proposal includes $1.6 billion in new renewable
energy funding for USDA. It seeks $500 million over 10 years to expand
the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Program, $500 million for
bioenergy and biobased research, and $210 million to support $2.1
billion in loan guarantees for energy efficiency measures, with a
significant focus on cellulosic ethanol. Since 2002, USDA has awarded
$58.1 million in grants to 55 projects in 27 states and the District of
Columbia under the Biomass Research and Development Initiative. Since
the beginning of 2007, DOE has announced nearly $1 billion in funding
for biofuels R&D.

Maximum award amounts will not exceed $1 million. Eligible applicants
include state and federal research agencies, national laboratories,
private-sector groups and nonprofit organizations. Consortia of two or
more groups also are encouraged to apply. The closing date for
pre-applications is July 11, 2007. Preapplications must be submitted
electronically through Grants.gov at
www.grants.gov . Prospective
grantees whose pre-applications have been selected for further
processing must submit final applications within 45 days of the
notification.

For more information on these grant solicitations, visit: www.grants.gov

For more information on President Bush’s Twenty in Ten Initiative,
visit:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/stateoftheunion/2007/initiatives/energy.html .

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