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 November 4, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee. The meeting is intended to develop guidance promoting the research and development (R&D) of biobased fuel and product production. In addition to an opportunity for members of the public to make oral statements, the meeting will cover an update on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and DOE biomass R&D activities, an update on the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, and the California Perspective on Biofuels and Energy. The meeting will occur on November 18, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and November 19, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. To attend or make oral statements, send an e-mail to Elliott Levine at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and Roy Tiley at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by November 12, 2015.


On October 2, 2015, at the 2015 Algae Biomass Organization Summit, the Algae Foundation announced a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funded education initiative to enhance algae workforce development. The Algae Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to expanding the algae industry though research, education, and outreach, and plays an important part in advancing the bioeconomy beyond ethanol. The DOE-funded initiative will focus on developing a college degree in algal cultivation technologies that will in turn strengthen workforce capabilities for commercial-scale algae production. The multi-year plan will include the formation of the Algae Technology Educational Consortium (ATEC) that will provide expertise needed to enhance the development of a curriculum and supplemental training materials.


On July 15, 2015, DOE posted a solicitation notice for candidates for the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee. According to the notice, DOE is specifically looking for candidates with experience in biobased industrial/commercial products, non-federal government engineers or scientists, academia with expertise in biofuel and biobased products, and experts in crop or soil science. Candidates with other experience can also be nominated. Nominations should be submitted by August 14, 2015.


On May 21, 2015, Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2015 (S. 1447). The legislation is intended to help coordinate and expand the many different programs that have been enacted across the federal government to promote and assist the development of sustainable chemistry that reduces risks to human health and benefits the environment. The bill would create a federal Interagency Work Group (IWG), lead by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that would work with a diverse Advisory Council (AC) to develop and implement a strategy to advance sustainable chemistry. This would streamline existing federal activities that promote the development of sustainable chemistry through grants and prize competitions. The Act does not create any regulatory components or authorize new spending by taking advantage of programs that are already in place and making them more efficient.

The bill calls for an examination of methods that the government could use to provide additional incentives and would require the IWG to track the amount spent on sustainable chemicals by the federal government and include those amounts in a report to Congress and the Government Accountability Office. The report will also analyze the progress that has been made and evaluate future strategies to ensure that efforts are not duplicated and interagency coordination is streamlined. The overarching goal of the IWG and the AC will be to produce a national strategy and implementation plan for sustainable chemistry that will advance research, development, technology, commercialization, education, and training within two years of the start of the program.


The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee published a notice in the April 30, 2015, Federal Register announcing an open meeting that will provide advice and guidance on promoting research and development leading to the production of biobased fuels and biobased products. The meeting will include updates on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and DOE biomass activities, updates on the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, an overview of the Biomass Interagency Working Groups, and a panel on international bioenergy activities. The meeting is scheduled to be held on May 20, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.; May 21, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.; and May 22, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. To attend the meeting or to make oral statements regarding any of the items on the agenda, you must contact Elliott Levine at (202) 586-1476/e-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Roy Tiley at (410) 997-7778 ext. 220/e-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by May 13, 2015.




On January 27, 2015, BASF left the research and development (R&D) collaboration with Novozymes and Cargill that it had joined in 2012. Novozymes and Cargill have worked to develop a process to produce biobased 3-hydroxypropionic (3-HP) and acrylic acid from renewable materials since 2008. In BASF's absence, the two remaining companies are looking for a third partner for the project. The R&D project has already produced 3-HP in pilot scale and converted 3-HP to glacial acrylic acid and superabsorbent polymers. The goal is now to commercialize 3-HP to biobased chemicals in order to bring customers sustainable alternatives to petroleum based chemicals.

Tags: research, 3-HP


On December 4, 2014, the S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced it will provide up to $7 million for two bioenergy projects that aim to reduce the cost of delivering biomass feedstocks to biorefineries. The College of Environmental Science and Forestry at the State University of New York administers one of the projects and focuses on reducing the cost of woody crops while improving harvest and preprocessing operations to meet biorefinery specifications. The second project, out of the University of Tennessee, will develop a biomass processing depot that blends multiple biomass sources in order to reduce variation in biomass used by biorefineries. This study could lead to increased feedstock availability due to blending of the different biomass sources.



The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) supports researchers and companies working on large-scale multidisciplinary research projects in areas of importance to Canadians. As part of this program, NSERC is providing the University of Toronto with $5 million to help launch the Industrial Biocatalysis Network, which will research novel uses of enzymes to produce chemicals, plastics, and other products. This program will be run in collaboration with Concordia University and the University of British Columbia and will support the growth of the biobased chemical and materials sector in Canada.


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