DOE opens new funding opportunity

By Erin Voegele | February 03, 2012

The U.S. DOE’s Office of Science recently announced a funding opportunity that can benefit algae development companies, particularly those working to develop new strains of algae  The grant funding opportunity, titled “Genomic Science: Biosystems Design to Enable Next-Generation Biofuels,” was announced Jan. 13, 2012. Pre-applications are due Feb. 13, with full applications due April 2.

According to the DOE, the opportunity focuses on research that supports its Genomics Science Program and addresses the department’s missions in energy and environment in at least one of two research areas; microbial systems design for biofuels, from computer modeling to experimental validation, or plant systems design for bioenergy. The first area of focus includes the development of modeling algorithms and innovative biosystems design technologies to define, build and apply functional biological modules for the generation of novel biological systems that advanced toward the production of biofuels. The second area of focus includes activities to develop novel technologies to redesign bioenergy crops that can grow in marginal environments while producing high yield of biomass that can be easily converted to biofuels.

There are several factors that applications should address, including biocontainment challenges, unexpected outcomes, and the potential societal implications of engineered organisms. The DOE also points out that the submission of “high-risk” applications with potential for future high impact on genomic science research are encouraged. According to the DOE, the probability of success and the risk-reward balance will be considered as part of the application evaluation.

 According to information published by the DOE, it is anticipated that up to $20 million in total funding will be made during fiscal year 2012. This is contingent on the availability of appropriated funds. The number of awards given will be impacted by a variety of factors, including the size of the awards. The DOE also notes that multiple year funding is expected, and that applications may request project support for up to five years. Cost sharing for the program is not required.

Full information on the opportunity and application information can be downloaded from the website