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DOE to invest $250 million in new bioenergy centers

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The announcement of the Bioenergy Research Centers initiative culminates a six-year-long effort by the DOE Office of Science to lay the foundation for breakthroughs in systems biology for the cost-effective production of renewable energy. In early July, DOE's Office of Science issued a joint biofuels research agenda with the Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy titled Breaking the Biological Barriers to Cellulosic Ethanol. The report provides a detailed roadmap for cellulosic ethanol research, identifying key roadblocks and areas where scientific breakthroughs are needed.

The proposal deadline for this funding opportunity is February 1, 2007. DOE's Office of Science will provide $25 million in the first year for the establishment of each center and up to $25 million per year for the following four years to support the operations of each center - for a total award of up to $125 million per center. Additional details on the funding opportunity and the centers' objectives are available at: http://www.doegenomestolife.org/centers.

DOE began supporting pioneering research on microbes and microbial communities in 2000, with the objective of tapping microorganisms' powerful and diverse capabilities to produce renewable energy, clean up the environment and manage atmospheric carbon. This research has been supported by the Genomics: GTL program in the Office of Science. Since initiating the Human Genome Project in 1986, DOE has played a major role in advancing modern biotechnology, and the department's recent research on microbes for energy production builds on those advances.

Today's announcement is part of a series of events highlighting the first anniversary of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which President Bush signed on August 8, 2005. A kickoff event was held in Washington, D.C., with Secretary Bodman and two Chairmen of Congression
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Contact: Jeff Sherwood
jeff.sherwood@hq.doe.gov
202-586-5806
DOE/US Department of Energy
2-Aug-2006


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