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Energy department's Idaho lab teams with Russia to establish Ecological Biotrade facility

ent of Energy will provide $1 million towards this two-year project with additional funding from Diversa Corporation who signed a cooperative research and development agreement Monday.

The goal of the collaborative research is to use biomolecular techniques to evaluate the range, extent and potential value of Russia's microbial diversity, according to Rob Rogers, the INEEL's principal project investigator. Working in close cooperation, Russian, INEEL and industry partner scientists will begin to conduct a molecular survey of the diversity of the microorganisms found within selected Russian ecosystems.

"It is the goal of this project to identify commercial biomolecular products that will provide revenue to make the ecological center self-sustaining after DOE funding ends," says Bill Toth, IPP program manager for the INEEL.

The Energy Department's Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention biological program has engaged 20 biological institutes and almost 600 scientists, approved more than 55 projects, and allocated over $12 million for collaboration with former biological weapons facilities. The program funds peaceful research by former Soviet weapon scientists, in cooperation with DOE national laboratories and U.S. industry partners. Projects are selected for their commercial potential and are intended to lead to long-term employment for former Soviet weapons specialists, while also providing U.S. industry participants with new sources of technological innovation.


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Contact: Teri Ehresman
ehr@inel.gov
208-526-7785
DOE/Idaho National Laboratory
14-Nov-2000


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