In North Carolina, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center received a $1.87 million federal grant for a three-year study of the production of sorghum as biomass for fuel and high-value chemicals in the Mid-Atlantic region. The grant to NCBiotech’s Biotechnology Crop Commercialization Center is intended to bring together agriculture and biotechnology to maximize the fibrous sorghum stalk material for use as a high-value feedstock.
The BCCC award is part of a $10 million distribution of USDA/DOE grants in the federal Biomass Research and Development Initiative and is the largest of seven announced by USDA/DOE. NCBiotech is coordinating the research activities, involving scientists at land-grant universities in two Southeastern states and numerous industry partners. More than 90 percent of the grant funding will be channeled through BCCC to pay for research carried out by six investigators – three from North Carolina State University and three from Virginia Tech.