DOE accepting applications for algal research funding
The U.S. DOE is making $14 million in funding available to support research and development activities related to algae biofuel production. According to information released by the DOE, the new funding initiative aims to build on the administration’s existing support of biofuels initiatives. In fact, the DOE noted it is currently supporting more than 30 algae biofuels projects, representing $85 million in total investment.
Under the new funding announcement, the DOE is seeking proposals from small businesses, universities and national laboratories to modify existing facilities for long-term algae research, and to test new production processes that could lead to commercial-scale algae biofuel production. The initiative is designed to fund projects that will establish and operate “test beds” for algal biofuels that can facilitate development, test new approaches to algae production, and discover ways to minimize water and nutrient inputs. In effect, the funding opportunity is designed to support advanced research projects that will improve the sustainability of algae biofuels and accelerate technological breakthroughs.
According to the DOE, the $14 million in available funds represent the first phase in a total $30 million investment in algal biofuels in fiscal year 2012. Competitively selected projects will receive up to $14.3 million in FY 2012 funds. Subject to congressional appropriations, an additional $6.7 million will be available in FY 2014 for projects that meet rigorous performance criteria.
Applications are being accepted through April 18. Awards are made through two topic areas: water and nutrient recycle, and test bed facilities. Minimum and maximum funding limitations for projects submitted under the first topic area are $500,000 and $3 million, respectively. The funding range for projects submitted under the second topic area is $3 million to $15 million. Approximately 3-10 awards are expected to be made under the first topic area, with only one or two made under the second.
More information on the opportunity can be found on the DOE website under Funding Opportunity Announcement Number DE-FOA-0000615.