The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), is announcing its intent to issue a Request for Applications (RFA) through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative.

Projects funded through this RFA, titled “Fiscal Year 17 Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI),” will help develop economically and environmentally sustainable sources of renewable biomass, increase the availability of renewable fuels and biobased products, and diversify our energy portfolio.

The BRDI program requires that funded projects address at least one of the following three legislatively mandated technical areas:

  1. Feedstocks development to address research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) activities regarding feedstocks and feedstock logistics (including harvest, handling, transport, preprocessing, and storage) relevant to production of raw materials for conversion to biofuels and biobased products.
  2. Biofuels and biobased products development to address RD&D activities to support (1) development of diverse cost-effective, innovative technologies for the use of cellulosic biomass in the production of biofuels, bioenergy, and biobased products and (2) product diversification through technologies relevant to the production of a range of biobased products (including chemicals, animal feeds, and cogeneration power) that potentially can increase the feasibility of fuel production in a biorefinery.
  3. Biofuels development analysis to apply systems evaluation methods that can be used to optimize system performance and market potential and to quantify the project’s impact on sustainability; therefore, successful applications will consider the life-cycle (cradle-to-grave) impacts, including environmental, social, and economic implications that are attributable to the project.

This notice is meant to help ensure interested parties are aware of NIFA’s and EERE’s intention to issue the RFA in the near term. USDA intends to issue the RFA in February 2017. Once the RFA has been released, NIFA will provide an avenue for potential applicants to submit questions. If applicants wish to receive official notifications and information from USDA and EERE regarding this RFA, they should register in EERE Exchange.