Biomass Research and Development Board to hold webinar May 5

By Erin Voegele | April 29, 2016

On May 5, Biomass Research and Development Board operations committee is expected to hold a listening session, titled “Building a Billion Ton Bioeconomy in the United States.” The two-hour webinar is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. EDT.

During the listening session, attendees are encouraged to provide their thoughts and comments and ask questions about the potential to grow the national bioeconomy. Listening session hosts from the USDA and U.S. Department of Energy are expected to solicit input from participants on opportunities that may exist and challenges that may need to be confronted in order to achieve a focused and successful bioeconomy vision for the United States. According to information published by the DOE, the event will use ThinkTank collaborative technology to gather input from participants.

Attendees are encouraged to review the Federal Activities Report on the Bioeconomy prior to the event. The report is a product of the Biomass Research and Development Board, an interagency collaboration composed of senior decision-makers from federal agencies and the White House. It includes members representing the USDA, DOT and U.S. Departments of the Interior, Transportation, and Defense; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the National Science Foundation; and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. It was prepared to emphasize the significant potential for a stronger and cleaner U.S. bioeconomy through the production and use of biofuels, renewable chemicals, biobased products, and biomass heat and power. The report also delves into the wide-ranging, federally funded activities that are currently helping to bolster the bioeconomy. 

The report, released in February, identifies four main barriers that currently restrict our nation’s ability to achieve Billion Ton Economy goals. The first focuses on sustainably producing and accessing adequate and affordable feedstocks. The second is developing and applying innovative, cost-competitive conversion technologies. Third is the optimization of distribution infrastructure to allow for the movement of biomass and subsequent derivatives across the entire supply chain. The fourth is consumer education.

Information contained in the report indicates a board committee has been conducting efforts to identify and understand more about the various bioeconomy stakeholders. The activities are expected to include stakeholder and public workshops and the potential establishment of a formal coalition that would provide leadership and oversight of the vision’s strategy and practice. According to the report, information gathered through engagement with the public will result in an overall plan for the vision, which will be detailed in an Integrated Bioeconomy Implementation Plan scheduled to be released later this year.

Additional information on the webinar is available on the DOE website.