The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced the selection of five external collaborations totaling over $3.7 million to conduct research and development needed to accelerate the U.S. biomanufacturing sector. Working with scientists in the Agile BioFoundry (ABF) consortium, these industry and academic groups will leverage national laboratory capabilities to address challenges in biomanufacturing.
DOE has selected the following projects:
- UC Berkeley will address the pressing need for a scalable method for double-stranded RNA production for agricultural pesticide applications, employing microbial strain engineering and fermentation scale-up.
- Birch Biosciences will develop improved technologies that enable engineering of high performance enzymes for economical and sustainable plastic recycling.
- Kiverdi will develop a platform for sequestering carbon dioxide for the production of secreted recombinant proteins.
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln will expand the synthetic biology biosensor toolkit for Methanosarcina, a promising archaeal host organism that can be used to create fuels and renewable chemicals.
- Azolla will leverage ABF’s capabilities to engineer a bacterium capable of using sunlight and carbon dioxide to produce nanocellulosic fiber. This technology could replace current unsustainable production practices in the textile industry and offer future applicability in the packaging, construction and automotive industries.
The selected projects all directly contribute to producing renewable biofuels and bio-based chemicals & materials. They also help the ABF 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. The result is 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 20 university and industry partners.