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Congress Directs Millions to Algae and Seaweed R&D for 2022

On March 15, ABO’s efforts to build a robust foundation for algae and seaweed technology research in the United States scored another win as President Biden signed a $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package to fund the federal government through fiscal year 2022. 

Several federal agencies support research and development for algae in all 50 states, and this bill will determine how much of that funding is used in the coming year. Agencies that are funding algae research include the U.S. Departments of Defense, Energy, Agriculture, Transportation, the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The Biomass Research and Development Board’s Algae Interagency Working Group is an excellent resource to learn more about how this research is being coordinated.

At the Department of Energy (DOE) alone, ABO advocated for millions in funding that will help meet two important goals for the algae and seaweed industries: new technology and new markets. By supporting technology development that includes new science, but also accelerates projects that can get algae & seaweed production to commercial scale, we can create the conditions for new and sustainable economic growth based on these exceptionally productive crops. 

The DOE’s funding includes: 

  • $40 million allocated to DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) for algae technology and commercialization R&D.
  • $8 million allocated to DOE’s Fossil Energy Office for algae R&D related to carbon capture and use. This is the third year that this office will be dispersing funds to projects that can demonstrate new approaches to carbon capture, utilization and sequestration with algae. 

These are great results for continued research that can unlock the potential of algae, and are only part of the picture when it comes to bipartisan support for federal research. 

ABO will continue our efforts to advocate in Congress and elsewhere for this kind of research. 

We will also be working closely with our partners to build the markets for algae-derived products and services. With a coordinated effort we can make algae and seaweed a sought-after solution for markets that need sustainability, performance and cost improvements. 

Need help learning about federal funding opportunities for algae and seaweed? Reach out to ABO! Our membership is a network of professionals with insight into upcoming opportunities, the application process, partnership coordination and more. 

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