The US Departments of Energy (DOE) and Agriculture (USDA) announced up to $25 million in funding for research and development of technologies and processes to produce biofuels, bioenergy and high-value bio-based products, subject to annual appropriations.

“These projects will be among many Obama administration investments that will help strengthen our economy and address the climate crisis. A robust biofuels industry—focused on the next generation of biofuels—is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing our addiction to foreign oil and putting Americans back to work,” said Steven Chu, secretary of energy.

USDA and DOE are issuing this joint funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for several types of projects aimed at increasing the availability of alternative renewable fuels and bio-based products. The projects will aim to create a diverse group of economically and environmentally sustainable sources of renewable biomass. Advanced biofuels produced from these types of sources are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 50 percent.

Award amounts are planned to range from $1 million to $5 million with project periods up to four years, subject to annual appropriations. Eligible applicants include institutions of higher education, national laboratories, federal research agencies, state research agencies, private sector entities, nonprofit organizations, or a consortium of two or more of those entities.

The FOA is available online at www.grants.gov. The closing date for preapplications was March 6, 2009. Look for these projects to open up, and prepare to be a competitive bidder.