The US Department of Energy (DOE) will provide up to $75 million (€67.4 million) over five years for research to develop sustainable energy crops that are “tolerant of environmental stress and resilient to changing environmental conditions”.
According to the DOE, the research will focus on better understanding the genetic and physiological mechanisms influencing plant productivity and resource use, among other factors. Paul Dabbar, Under Secretary for Science, said: “With this research, the US will lead the way in laying the agricultural foundation for the emerging bio-economy.
“It’s crucial for crops grown for bioenergy and bioproducts to be able to survive and thrive under marginal growing conditions and maintain resiliency to environmental stresses and changes to avoid competing with food production.”
Applications will be open to universities, industry and non-profit research institutions as the lead institution, with possible collaborators at DOE national laboratories and other federal agencies. Funding will be awarded competitively based on peer review, according to the DOE, and is expected to be formed of five-year grants ranging from $1 million (€899,000) to $3 million (€2.6 million) per year.