N.C. Bioenergy Research Initiative seeks grant proposals

By North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services | March 14, 2014

The N.C. Bioenergy Research Initiative is seeking grant proposals focused on research and development of agricultural and forestry-based feedstocks for bioenergy production, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler recently announced.

A total of $500,000 in competitive grants is available and the deadline to submit proposals is March 31.

The N.C. General Assembly approved funding in its 2013 session to boost energy production from North Carolina agricultural and forestry products, offering new opportunities for agribusiness development and supporting cooperative research for biofuels production.

“We have a great opportunity in North Carolina with our agricultural know-how and our forestry resources to develop renewable bioenergy,” Troxler said. “We want to use this grant money to increase feedstock production in the state, especially for cellulosic ethanol.”

Projects can focus on production and harvesting methods and plant variety work,  including genetic improvement and selection; establishment methods; weed management; nutrient uptake, usage and removal; harvest management such as methods, timing, transporting and storage; stand management such as renovation for productivity, planting dates, crop management and eradication when necessary; physiology, growth and development of biomass energy crops; new species with bioenergy potential; multiple crop production practices such as crop rotation and intercropping; and education and demonstration.

Individual applications should not exceed $100,000 in direct funding from the grant program. Project coordinators can submit multiple applications if there are enough differences in the proposed projects to warrant separate consideration. For a grant application or more information, contact Allison Medlin with the N.C. Bioenergy Research Initiative at 919-693-2483.