By Kathleen M. Roberts
On June 13, 2018, representatives of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) and representatives of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) met with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staff to discuss the two groups’ white paper, “Proposal for a Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory Representation and Equivalency Determinations for Renewable and Sustainable Bio-based Chemicals.” BRAG and BIO members provided a presentation for EPA staff that outlined the regulatory challenges and market impendence facing the biobased industry related to current naming conventions. BRAG and BIO look forward to further dialogue with EPA on this crucial issue.
By Lynn L. Bergeson
On June 4, 2018, Proctor & Gamble (P&G) announced the launch of Downy’s first plant-based line of fabric conditioner. In addition to powering the manufacturing process completely with renewable wind powered electricity at a zero-manufacturing waste to landfill facility, the product formula includes 70 percent biobased ingredients and the bottles are made from 25 percent post-consumer recycled content. The 70 percent claim has been certified through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred program, which provides third-party verification of a product’s biobased content. This program was created by the 2002 Farm Bill and expanded by the 2014 Farm Bill to increase the development, purchase, and use of biobased products.
By Lynn L. Bergeson
On April 11, 2018, the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) announced €115 million in funding for the 2018 Call for proposals focusing on feedstock, process, products, and market uptake. BBI JU is a partnership between the European Union (EU) and the Bio-based Industries Consortium that was launched to develop strong European bio-based industries. This call includes 21 topics with 11 Research and Innovation Action (RIA) topics, 3 Coordination and Support Actions (CSA), and 7 Innovation Actions (5 DEMOs and 2 Flagships) with new eligibility criteria. Topics include improving the pre-processing steps of locally sourced biomass, improving the performance of biocatalysts, and developing computational systems that model and identify improvement areas for bioprocesses involving microorganisms. The deadline for submission of proposals is September 6, 2018. More information on the call for proposals is available online.
By Lynn L. Bergeson
On April 13, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced an upcoming webinar entitled “Bioproducts, Grown and Made in America” that will focus on American-produced bioproducts made from renewable sources including plants, algae, and wastes. Speakers from BETO, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories will discuss how the biobased economy is enhancing American ingenuity and productivity. This free webinar will be held on April 19, 2018, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EDT). Registration is available online.
By Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D.
On January 10, 2018, AkzoNobel, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), announced the challenges for its latest Imagine Chemistry program. AkzoNobel initiated the Imagine Chemistry program in 2017 to startup and scale-up firms and researchers for an opportunity to solve real industry challenges and create sustainable business opportunities in chemistry. Challenge winners receive joint development agreements with AkzoNobel to help bring their ideas to market. During the 2018 program, AkzoNobel is soliciting solutions to the following challenges;
- Development of a surfactant platform that is fully sustainable, specifically biobased, biodegradable, and zero footprint, and suitable for many applications;
- Organic-free wastewater treatment solutions;
- Smart technology to make chemical plants more intelligent, autonomous, and resource efficient;
- Production of chlorate using a more sustainable, energy efficient method that does not use hexavalent chromium;
- Technologies to increase the efficiency of the production of dry powder products; and
- Small particle technology to help drive performance and sustainability improvements.
Participants can submit ideas and solutions through the online challenge platform
. Finalists will be invited to an intensive three-day event in June
at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, where they will work with experts in finance and research to further develop their ideas.
By Kathleen M. Roberts
On December 4, 2017, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), the General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issued in the Federal Register a notice of request for public comment regarding an extension of a previously approved ICR regarding biobased procurements. Pursuant to Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) clause 52.223-2, prime contractors are required to report annually the product types and dollar values of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-designated biobased products purchased to the System for Award Management (SAM) website, which supports annual reporting to the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) concerning actions taken to implement and measure progress in carrying out the preference for biobased products required under Section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002.
Public comments are invited specifically on:
- Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of functions of the FAR, and whether it will have practical utility;
- Whether the estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology;
- Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
- Ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.
- Comments are due by January 3, 2018.