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.
On March 16, 2020, DOE EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office and Bioenergy Technologies Office used a joint funding opportunity announcement (FOA) of up to $25 million for plastics recycling R&D. As part of the Department’s Plastics Innovation Challenge, this FOA has been titled “BOTTLE: Bio-Optimized Technologies to Keep Thermoplastics Out of Landfills and the Environment.” The BOTTLE FOA will support the development of new plastics capable of efficient recyclability and improvement of recycling strategies that can break existing plastics into chemical building blocks that can be used in other products.
Also as part of the Plastics Innovation Challenge, DOE has launched a new BOTTLE Consortium, which will be led by three of DOE’s national laboratories. The Consortium will work with stakeholders in industry and academia to focus on BOTTLE’s core mission. The three national laboratories in the Consortium currently are the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
This BOTTLE FOA includes three topic areas:
Concept papers for the BOTTLE FOA are due on April 22, 2020, and full applications are due on June 18, 2020. Information on how to submit concept papers and applications can be found here.
On February 21, 2020, U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), announced that it will hold a series of workshops to receive input on the approaches and activities for its new initiative, the Energy Storage Grand Challenge (ESGC). Launched in January 2020 by DOE Secretary Dan Brouillette, ESGC was created to accelerate the development, commercialization, and utilization of next-generation energy storage technologies. With the aim to sustain American global leadership in energy storage, ESGC builds on the $158 million Advanced Energy Storage Initiative. Recognizing the challenges associated with the advancement of energy storage technologies, DOE EERE will host four workshops to receive input on ESGC initiative approaches and activities. The workshops’ dates, locations, and registration deadlines are:
Parties interested in registering for one of the workshops may do so here. Seating is limited, and registrations will be accepted in the order they are received.
On February 4, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced that it is searching for professionals to fill vacant general engineer and physical scientist positions. Resumes can be submitted directly to EERE’s hiring staff with information on the position of interest and EERE office (Solar, Geothermal, Vehicles, and Buildings, among others). Should EERE be interested in a particular resume, DOE’s Human Capital Office will reach out to the applicant requesting a transcript demonstrating educational background. Further information on vacant positions at EERE can be accessed here.
On January 23, 2020, DOE announced that up to $133 million will be available for new and innovative advanced vehicle technologies research designed to increase affordable, efficient, and secure transportation energy. This Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 opportunity will be funded by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and supports priorities in: (1) advanced engine and fuel technologies; (2) lightweight materials; (3) new energy efficient mobility systems; and (4) alternative fuels technology demonstrations. Topic areas and funding amounts include:
Concept papers for this funding opportunity are due on February 21, 2020, and full applications are due on April 14, 2020.
DOE Releases Notice Of Intent For Joint Funding Opportunity To Advance Plastics Innovation Challenge
On December 10, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) published a notice of intent to issue a joint Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) with the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), titled “BOTTLE: Bio-Optimized Technologies to Keep Thermoplastics out of Landfills and the Environment.” This FOA supports the Department’s Plastics Innovation Challenge, a comprehensive program to accelerate innovations in energy-efficient plastics recycling technologies by supporting high-impact research and development for plastics. The primary goal of the FOA is to develop new bio-based plastics that are capable of efficient recyclability and developing improved recycling strategies that can break down existing plastics into chemical building blocks that can be used to make higher value products.
On October 30, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced open meetings of the Biomass Research and Development (R&D) Technical Advisory Committee. The first meeting is scheduled for November 19, 2019, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EST), and the second meeting will take place on November 20, 2019, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (EST) in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the committee is to advise the Secretaries of Energy and Agriculture with respect to the Biomass Initiative. The committee also evaluates and makes recommendations in writing to the Biomass R&D Board. The meetings will address the advice and guidance the committee will promote for R&D leading to the production of biobased fuels and biobased products. The meetings’ tentative agenda includes updates on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Biomass R&D activities, presentations from government and industry that provide insights on the intersection of forest health and bioenergy growth, and updates on DOE Biomass R&D activities. Written and oral statements will be accepted. The meeting summary will be available for public review here.
On October 1, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that 35 projects have been selected to receive funding for bioenergy research and development (R&D). Totaling $73 million in funding provided by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the selected projects aim to:
According to DOE, the United States has the potential to produce 1 billion dry tons of non-food biomass without the disruption of agricultural markets for food and animal feed. These domestic resources, however, are currently underutilized. Given these circumstances, the main goal of the 35 selected projects will be to produce affordable biofuels that are compatible with the existing fueling infrastructure and vehicles in a range of transportation modes.
On September 25, 2019, DOE EERE announced that its Better Buildings, Better Plants partners have saved more than 1.3 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs) and $6.7 billion in energy costs. With more than 220 partners, DOE accepted 22 new companies this year, which include more than 3,200 facilities and represent approximately 12 percent of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint. Designed to work with partners who have set ambitious energy, water, and/or waste reduction goals, DOE’s program collects partners’ energy performance data and solutions to expand innovation and savings throughout the industrial sector. Thus far, partners have met and exceeded 60 energy goals. A full update on the Better Building, Better Plants partners is available in the 2019 Better Plants Annual Progress Update.