The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG) helps members develop and bring to market their innovative biobased and renewable chemical products through insightful policy and regulatory advocacy. BRAG is managed by B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C., an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

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.

 

 

 

By Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D.

USDA awarded Spero Energy Inc. a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $100,000 to conduct research and development to increase the availability and competitiveness of biobased products within the agricultural market.  Spero Energy is an Indiana-based company focused on the development of cost competitive processes for the conversion of biomass to renewable chemicals and fuels.  The SBIR grant aims to support the development of a series of patent-pending biobased and biodegradable chelates.  Chelates bind and deliver micronutrients to a variety of crops, which has been shown to increase crop production and yields.  The funding will be used to finalize the chelate formulation, scale up the reactions, and further prepare for commercialization.  Spero Energy, which began as a Purdue University startup, developed its technology in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette


 

By Kathleen M. Roberts

On August 28, 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 on an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement regarding Biobased Procurements.  Pursuant to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Clause 52.223-2, Affirmative Procurement of Biobased Products Under Service and Construction Contracts, 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.  Federal agencies use the submitted information to report annually 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, codified at 7 U.S.C. § 8102.  
 
Comments are due by October 27, 2017.  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.
Tags: DOD, GSA, NASA, Biobased

 

By Kathleen M. Roberts

On July 26, 2017, the Farewell to Unnecessary Energy Lifelines Reform Act of 2017 or FUEL Reform Act (H.R. 3419) was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Andy Biggs (R-AZ).  The bill would eliminate the following energy subsidies in Title IX of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002:

  • Biobased Markets Program;
  • Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program;
  • Repowering Assistance Program;
  • Biorefinery Program for Advanced Biofuels;
  • Biodiesel Fuel Education Program;
  • Rural Energy for America Program;
  • Biomass Research and Development Initiative;
  • Feedstock Flexibility Program for Bioenergy Producers;
  • Biomass Crop Assistance Program; and
  • Community Wood Energy Program.
The bill, which is co-sponsored by Representatives Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Trent Franks, (R-AZ), Walter Jones (R-NC), and Jim Jordan (R-OH), was referred to the Committees on Agriculture; Oversight and Government Reform; and Science, Space, and Technology.

 

 
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