DOE Offers $17 Million for New Cellulose-Fermenting Organisms
November 1, 2006
DOE is offering about $17 million for the development of highly efficient organisms that can convert cellulosic biomass into ethanol. DOE's Funding Opportunity Announcement, issued on October 19th, seeks companies to develop fermentative organisms, such as yeasts and bacteria, that are genetically stable and can survive a wide range of environmental conditions. Because the goal is to build a high-volume cellulosic ethanol industry, the organisms should thrive on forms of biomass that could be available in sustainable quantities exceeding 100 million tons per year. Participating companies must be willing and able to commercialize the organisms they develop and must have a sound business strategy to license and market the organisms. DOE expects to have about $17 million for this effort this fiscal year and expects an additional $10 million in fiscal years 2008 and 2009, subject to congressional appropriations. Interested parties need to submit a letter of intent by November 16th and the full application by January 4th, 2007. See the DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement.