The Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (DOE BETO) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences in the Biological Sciences Directorate and Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems in the Engineering Directorate announce a collaborative funding opportunity, “Accelerating Innovations in Biomanufacturing Approaches through Collaboration Between NSF and the DOE BETO funded Agile BioFoundry (NSF-DOE/ABF Collaboration)”, NSF 22-549.
To help advance the U.S. bioeconomy, this funding opportunity will provide support for synthetic and engineering biology research projects that have the potential to leverage the unique capabilities at the Agile BioFoundry (ABF) to further the development of the fundamental research toward eventual translation. The topical areas of interest should align with the broad interests of both NSF and DOE BETO.
Thematic areas of particular interest include: 1) expansion of the range of host organisms amenable to the tools of synthetic and engineering biology; 2) development of novel biotechnology approaches to mitigate climate change; 3) projects that advance a circular bioeconomy; and 4) development of affordable, bio-based, sustainable aviation fuel or other products of interest to NSF and DOE BETO that can demonstrate significant climate change mitigation and/or greenhouse gas reductions over a petroleum baseline. The potential economic and environment impact of the project is also a consideration.
Researchers from institutions of higher education and nonprofits are eligible to apply. Prior to submission of the NSF proposals, project ideas must be evaluated by ABF for feasibility (see below). Full proposals will be submitted to and reviewed by NSF, and projects selected for support will be confirmed for suitability by ABF. Successful projects will include funding from NSF for the work performed at the Principal Investigator’s (PI’s) institution and funding from BETO to support the part of the project to be completed by the ABF. DOE BETO will support the work at ABF through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA). See this page for more details, including the current CRADA document.
The deadline for proposal submission is Tuesday, April 18th, 2023. Proposed projects entail close collaboration with the ABF team. Therefore, prior to submission, PIs are required to request a feasibility review of the project for which ABF collaboration is desired, using the template located here. Once a project has been deemed feasible by the ABF, PIs will coordinate with ABF investigators and refine scope and budget details. PIs will be provided a feasibility evaluation document to submit with their NSF proposals. The proposal timeline is as follows:
- March 1st, 2023 – PIs submit an outline of proposed work to [email protected] for feasibility review. Prior to the submission deadline, PIs are encouraged to review ABF capabilities.
- March 15th, 2023 – ABF provides feedback to PIs and NSF on the feasibility of the proposed work. PIs with a positive feasibility review will coordinate with the ABF team to refine scope and budget for the full proposal.
- April 18th, 2023 – PIs submit full proposal along with feasibility review documentation from ABF.
NSF will review proposals according to the standard merit review criteria along with specific criteria that are detailed in the solicitation. Proposers are encouraged to review ABF capabilities and intellectual property provisions of the CRADA prior to submission.
For full details on submission instructions, solicitation requirements, and contact information, see NSF 22-549.