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New Federal Funding for Algae in 2021 Will Advance Science and Technology Commercialization

Federal support for advanced algae R&D is on a solid foundation for 2021 with the recent passage of an omnibus appropriations bill that was included in last year’s COVID-19 relief legislation. These funds extend a long-standing tradition of supporting advanced algae technology development at the federal level, and were approved by bipartisan majorities in Congress.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s included in the legislation:

  • The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) will direct $40 million to funding opportunities that target advanced algae systems, the same level of support allocated in 2020. $10 million of those funds will be provided for R&D to support atmospheric carbon capture.
  • At the DOE’s Fossil Energy Office, the Carbon Use and Reuse program will get $23 million, a $2 million increase over last year. $8 million of these funds are allocated for competitive solicitations on carbon dioxide absorption with algae systems that can capture and reuse the gas to produce useful biofuels and chemicals.
  • Finally, the legislation encourages the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to support research on algae and algae applications in agriculture, including new commercial markets for renewable and sustainable products derived from algae. This is the first time algae has been prioritized at NIFA in this manner.

These funding allocations are typically distributed in a competitive process managed by federal agencies. If you are interested in exploring how your project might qualify, ABO encourages you to reach out to the appropriate federal contacts. ABO is also happy to provide assistance. Contact us here.

ABO is grateful for this continued support from Congress, and will continue to work closely with elected officials to show how algae research is making important contributions to the United States’ technological and economic leadership.

The funding opportunities that come from these allocations could also be augmented by the priorities of the incoming Biden Administration. ABO is working with supporters in Congress and the White House to ensure that the algae industry continues to be part of the solution to in climate, energy, water, food security, economic development and other areas.

Additional Resources:

Gross-Wen water treatment facility

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