DOE awards $178 million for bioenergy technology – Analysis of high-performance computing news

September 13, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today awards a total of $178 million to bioenergy research projects intended to advance sustainable technological breakthroughs that can improve public health, help combat climate change, improve food and agricultural production and create supply chains. This funding will support R&D in the biotechnology of bioenergy crops, industrial microorganisms and microbiomes.

Projects were selected through competitive peer review through four DOE funding opportunity announcements sponsored by the Department’s Office of Science Biological and Environmental Research Program: Designing Biosystems to Enable Safe Biofuel Production , bioproducts and new generation biomaterials; Quantum bioimaging and sensing approaches for bioenergy; Systems biology has enabled microbiome research to facilitate predictions of interactions and behavior in the environment; and genomics-based plant biology for the determination of gene function.

Total funding is $178 million for projects up to five years in duration, with $47 million in fiscal year 2022 dollars and out-of-year funding dependent on congressional appropriations. The list of projects and more information can be found here.

“Producing cheaper energy from organic materials – like plants, food and waste – keeps money in the pockets of energy consumers and prevents carbon pollution from reaching the atmosphere. “said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “These projects will continue to push the boundaries of biotechnology and support the emergence of a thriving US bioeconomy that is creating well-paying jobs and helping us meet our climate goals.”

By discovering, understanding and harnessing the sophisticated capabilities of nature, we can address a wide range of topics related to the DOE’s mission in sustainable bioenergy development, including the production of sustainable crops for bioenergy and bioproducts to combat against climate change. Biotechnology funding supports:

  • Research on the production of renewable bioenergy and biomaterials to develop new bioproduction platforms, including research on systems and synthetic biology, computational modeling on bioenergy crops, industrial microbes and algae, and microbial communities. (Funding amount: $99.7 million)
  • Quantum bioimaging and sensing for bioenergy to develop state-of-the-art biological instruments and sensors that will advance research on plant and microbial systems relevant to bioenergy and environmental research. (Funding amount: $18 million)
  • Research to characterize gene function in bioenergetic crop plants to facilitate the development of new bioenergetic feedstocks with characteristics suitable for bioenergy and bioproduct development. (Funding amount: $27.4 million)
  • Understanding the role of microbiomes in the biogeochemical cycling of elements in terrestrial soils and wetlands based on genomics and systems biology research. (Funding amount: $33 million)

Sherry J. Basler