$125 million bioenergy initiative powered by Midwest ag industry, MSU research

EAST LANSING, Mich. Renewable energy for American industry is at the root of a major Midwest research center funded by the largest federal grant exclusively for research endeavors in Michigan State Universitys history, it was announced today.

MSU will partner with the University of Wisconsin-Madison in establishing the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), one of three new U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Research Centers (BRC). The center, based in Madison, will be funded with $125 million over five years. MSU will use approximately $50 million for basic science research aimed at solving some of the most complex problems in converting natural materials to energy.

Ken Keegstra, MSU University Distinguished Professor of plant biology and of biochemistry and molecular biology, will be the executive director of the center, splitting his time between East Lansing and Madison. Keegstra and Tim Donohue, UW-Madison professor of bacteriology, led the initiative to bring the center to the Great Lakes region.

Some 100 jobs are expected to be created in Michigan, including MSU faculty, postgraduate students, technicians and support staff.

This is a proud day for MSU and the state of Michiganand a dramatic step toward an economy powered by strategic partnerships among states, research universities and industry, said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. MSUs Office of Biobased Technologies and our preeminent scientists are dedicated to addressing problems and opportunities of today, but, more importantly, of the future. This is a great partnership that uses Michigan States comprehensive and powerful plant sciences to shape a green future in renewable resources, said Steve Pueppke, director of MSUs Office of Biobased Technologies. This matches some of the worlds best plant science with industry needs. The work will create momentum; these activities bring on more activities. This is how things start to happen.


Contact: Sue Nichols
Michigan State University

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