New DOE Bioenergy Information Resource for Data-driven Collaboration

January 21, 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the launch of a new online collaboration tool and data resource focused on bioenergy. The "Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework" allows researchers, policymakers, and investors to share large data sets, as well as the latest bioenergy research. The Framework also facilitates collaborative production, integration, and analysis of information. Registered users will be able to contribute additional data sets that can then be shared, growing the body of knowledge, better informing this growing industry, and eliminating "information silos." The Framework allows simultaneous geographic mapping of complex data sets such as biomass feedstock production, fueling stations, and biorefineries on a national, state, and even county-level basis – providing the bioenergy industry an analytical tool for identifying new opportunities for research, supportive policies, and project investment. The Framework is part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to developing homegrown, sustainable, and plentiful sources of clean energy, like biofuels.

The Framework is meant to be customizable and flexible, while maintaining the integrity of the data. Users can chose specific data sets, for example, and immediately have them displayed on a scalable map. DOE developed the Framework ( with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, as well as Idaho National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and university research partners. Oak Ridge National Laboratory will administer the site and validate new data submissions.

The Department of Energy will host a Webinar on Tuesday, February 8, 2011 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST to demonstrate the system. The session will include an overview of the system, case studies of how it may be used, and a demonstration of its user interface. This Webinar is free to all participants, but requires registration in advance. Prior to the Webinar, participants should also confirm that they can access the Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework website.

The system has unique value for a variety of industry stakeholders:

  • Policymakers at the national, state, county, and municipal levels, will be able to assess resources and infrastructure, to decide how best to achieve America’s clean energy goals.
  • Private industry and entrepreneurs can benefit from analyses to better identify opportunities and inform business strategies.
  • National Laboratory and university researchers and scientists will be able to connect research projects and share data, models, and published studies.
  • The public will be able to explore the wealth of public information and discover how their communities can benefit from renewable bioenergy.

Secretary Steven Chu made this announcement on Thursday, January 20, 2011 as part of the Department of Energy’s comprehensive strategy to support the production of advanced biofuels. For more information on the full announcement, see the following press release: Department of Energy Offers First Conditional Commitment for a Loan Guarantee for Advanced Biofuels Plant.

DOE’s Biomass Program is helping transform the nation's renewable and abundant biomass resources into cost-competitive, high-performance biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower. To learn more, visit the Biomass Program website.