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 February 29, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced eight small business contracts through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. The eight Phase II contracts provide the companies with $300,000 each to develop and commercialize innovative products that address environmental and public health issues. Phase II funding is typically made available to companies that have already been granted Phase I funding through the SBIR Program. This round of funding included two biobased businesses, Environmental Fuel Research, LLC, a company that is developing a system to produce biofuel from grease trap waste, and Sustainable Bioproducts, LLC, a company that is developing a low-cost, simple, and scalable microbial process for the conversion of organic municipal solid waste to fuels using fungus. The SBIR Program is open to for-profit U.S. businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Open solicitations for applicants are listed on the SBIR website, but applications for this specific program are currently closed.


 

On March 3, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Research Centers (BRC) announced the 500th invention disclosure since 2007. The BRCs, which consist of the BioEnergy Science Center (Oak Ridge National Laboratory), the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michigan State University), and the Joint BioEnergy Institute (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), work to develop advanced biofuels technologies to bring to the marketplace. Created in 2007, the BRCs have brought together a diverse group of ecologists, economists, engineers, plant biologists, microbiologists, computational scientists, and chemists to collaborate with a focus on producing biofuels from cellulosic biomass.


 

On February 24, 2016, DOE published a notice of an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee in the Federal Register. The Committee is meeting to develop advice and guidance that promotes research and development leading to the production of biobased fuels and biobased products. The agenda also includes updates on federal biomass research and development activities and budgets. The meeting will be held on March 8, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. and March 9, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel. Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting and make oral statements regarding any item on the agenda. To attend or make a statement, contact 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) at least five business days prior to the meeting.


 

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.


 

 

 
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