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

tners forms a team designed for progress and action.

If we're going to start using plants in significant ways beyond food, there are a lot of issues that come into play that we need to figure out, Keegstra said. Sustainability, competition for food, environmental issues our universities already have a head start in studying these from many angles. There is tremendous compatibility between UW-Madison and MSU, and we have assembled with others a strong and dynamic partnership.

Wisconsin, Michigan and the Great Lakes region will be a hub for research efforts aimed at clearing the technological bottlenecks that prevent plant biomass from being used efficiently as a source of energy. The DOE estimates the United States will need to process 1 billion tons of biomass per year as a source of renewable energy to meet the goal set by Bush.

"In the last 100 years we've gone through a significant fraction of the oil it took hundreds of millions of years to create," said Donohue, "so we have to come up with some new strategies."

Michigan State brings:

  • Some of the worlds most renowned plant scientists. MSU professors are leading three of the center's five research focus areas.

  • Strong links between plant and agriculture sciences and the agriculture industry as part of its land-grant tradition, made stronger with its Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station.

  • Twenty years of research at the national Long-Term Ecological Research site (LTER) at Kellogg Biological Station, the only LTER site in the nation that focuses on agriculture.

  • Connectivity with and proximity to the auto industry. The GLBRC plans to craft research projects to solve key problems identified by the industry.

  • The Office of Biobased Technologies which identifies and supports research opportunities, forges public-private sector partnerships and supports research.


Contact: Sue Nichols
Michigan State University

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