Annual Solicitation

On February 26, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $8.7 million to support research and development in advanced biofuels, bioenergy, and high-value biobased products. The projects funded through the Biomass Research and Development (BR&D) Initiative will help develop economically and environmentally sustainable sources of renewable biomass and increase the availability of renewable fuels and biobased products that can help replace the need for gasoline and diesel in vehicles and diversify the U.S. energy portfolio.

For fiscal year 2015, applicants seeking BR&D Initiative funding must address one of the technical topic areas described below.

  • Feedstock Development: Funding will support research, development, and demonstration activities for improving biomass feedstocks and their supply, including the harvest, transport, preprocessing, and storage necessary to produce biofuels and biobased products.
  • Biofuels and Biobased Products Development: Research, development, and demonstration activities will support cost-effective technologies to increase the use of cellulosic biomass in the production of biofuels and biobased products. Funding will also support the development of a wide range of technologies to produce various biobased products, including animal feeds and chemicals that can potentially increase the economic viability of large-scale fuel production in a biorefinery.
  • Biofuels and Biobased Products Development Analysis: Funding will help develop analytical tools to better evaluate methods that can be used to optimize system performance and market potential and to quantify the project's impact on sustainability. Successful applications will consider the life-cycle (cradle-to-grave) impacts including environmental, social, and economic implications that are attributable to the project.

Subject to annual appropriations, USDA and DOE plan to contribute up to $8.7 million over three years for this year's BR&D Initiative solicitation. A description of the solicitation, eligibility requirements, and application instructions is available at under Reference Number USDA-NIFA-9008-004957. Concept papers are due by March 27, 2015, and full applications are due by July 27, 2015.