Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences and the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems at the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the selection of six projects to conduct research and development that will advance the U.S. bioeconomy.
The selectees were chosen from applicants for a direct funding opportunity titled “Accelerating Innovations in Biomanufacturing Approaches through Collaboration Between NSF and the DOE BETO funded Agile BioFoundry,” which provides support for researchers from institutions of higher education and nonprofits to collaborate with the Agile BioFoundry (ABF). Selected projects leverage the rapid prototyping and advanced biotechnology resources available at the ABF to accelerate basic research projects to deployment.
BETO and NSF have selected the following projects:
- Washington University in St. Louis will develop a machine learning pipeline to assist strain design of non-model yeasts for biomanufacturing of biofuels and natural products.
- The University of Georgia will use a novel enzyme engineering method to produce industrially important chemicals from renewable sources.
- The University of Wyoming will develop an approach to enable separation of microbial growth and production phases, allowing for higher overall productivity in biofuel production.
- The University of North Texas will develop a methanotroph for greenhouse gas mitigation and conversion biotechnologies.
- The University of California, Irvine and The University of California, Riverside will develop new genetic tools for engineering a non-model yeast with promising features for biofuel production.
- The University of Washington will establish new methods to expand the scope of programmable gene regulation in bacteria, with immediate applications in bioproduction.
Both the NSF and BETO recognize the critical roles that synthetic and engineering biology play in advancing the U.S. bioeconomy. The selected projects all directly contribute to the production of renewable biochemicals and biofuels and build foundational technologies critical for the decarbonization of the industrial and transportation sectors.
Funded by BETO, ABF aims to advance biomanufacturing by uniting and expanding the capabilities of the national laboratories to offer a robust, agile biomanufacturing platform accessible to researchers across the private and public sectors.
ABF partners include Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and more than a dozen university and industry partners.