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DOE to issue funding opportunity for bioenergy technologies; outliers to current multi-year program plan

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) intends to issue, on behalf of the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), a Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0000974) entitled “Bioenergy Technologies Incubator”.

BETO’s mission is to engage in R&D and demonstration at increasing scale activities to transform renewable biomass resources into commercially viable, high-performance biofuels, and bioproducts and biopower that enable biofuel production. To accomplish this mission, BETO develops a multi-year program plan (MYPP) to identify the technical challenges and barriers that need to be overcome. These technical challenges and barriers form the basis for BETO to issue funding opportunities announcements (FOAs) for financial assistance awards in these specific areas.

The most recent BETO MYPP was issued in May 2013. BETO’s goals as expressed in the plan are to:

  • Enable sustainable, nationwide production of advanced biofuels that are compatible with today’s transportation infrastructure and can displace a share of petroleum-derived fuels to reduce US dependence on oil; and

  • Encourage the creation of a new domestic bioenergy industry supporting the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 goal of 36 billion gallons per year of renewable transportation fuels by 2022.

BETO manages a diverse portfolio of technologies across the spectrum of applied RDD&D that is organized to reflect the biomass-to-bioenergy supply chain—from the feedstock source to the end user.

Key components of the portfolio include:

  • R&D of a sustainable, high-quality feedstock supply system;

  • R&D of biomass conversion technologies;

  • Industrial-scale demonstration and validation of integrated biorefineries; and

  • Cross-cutting sustainability, analysis, and strategic communications activities.

However, BETO also recognizes that there may be novel and potentially disruptive ideas that do not necessarily satisfy the requirement of specific FOAs yet still meet the goals and mission of BETO. The Bioenergy Incubator Program is intended to identify these types of ideas that are not meaningfully addressed in BETO’s strategic plan or project portfolio.

The intention is not to fund projects that are incremental improvements to current products or processes or for established work in BETO’s strategic plan or current portfolio.

The FOA will be open to any and all ideas which significantly advance the mission of the BETO. DOE expects that proposals will be at early Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) ranging from 2 (Technology concept and/or application formulated) to 4 (Component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment).

EERE envisions awarding multiple financial assistance awards in the form of cooperative agreements. The estimated period of performance for each award will be approximately 12-24 months.

EERE plans to issue the FOA on or about 24 February 2014.



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