Biobased Products News and Policy Report – Update from Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

Biobased and Renewable Products Update
January 23, 2020

Federal

USDA Requests Input On HBIIP

On January 16, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the issuance of a Request for Information (RFI) to assist with the creation of its new program called Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). A USDA Rural Development project, HBIIP is designed to expand the availability of domestic ethanol and biodiesel by incentivizing the expansion of sales of renewable fuels. Requesting feedback from all interested parties, this RFI solicits information on options for fuel ethanol and biodiesel infrastructure, innovation, products, technology, and data derived from all HBIIP processes and/or science that drive economic growth, promote health, and increase public benefit. With an approaching deadline for comment submissions by January 30, 2020, thus far, only three parties have submitted comments to USDA.

DOE Announces Launch Of The 2020 Tibbetts Awards Program

On January 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs Office announced the launch of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Tibbetts Awards. The Tibbetts Awards recognize companies, organizations, and individuals exemplifying the best of the best in the SBIR and STTR programs. Named after the founder of the SBIR program, Roland Tibbetts, the awards also help DOE to document the economic, technical, and societal benefits from SBIR/STTR funding. Nominees can consist of an individual, a company, or an organization that promotes the mission and goals of the SBIR/STTR programs. The mission and goals include:

  • Stimulation of technological innovation;
     
  • Work with small businesses to meet federal development needs;
     
  • Encouragement of diverse participation in innovation and entrepreneurship;
     
  • Increase of private sector commercialization of innovations derived research and development (R&D); and
     
  • Foster technology transfer through cooperative R&D between small businesses and research institutions.
     

Nominations are open through February 21, 2020, and can be submitted via this website.

DOE Announces Funding Opportunity For Advanced Vehicle Technologies Research

On January 23, 2020, DOE announced that up to $133 million will be available for new and innovative advanced vehicle technologies research designed to increase affordable, efficient, and secure transportation energy. This Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 opportunity will be funded by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and supports priorities in: (1) advanced engine and fuel technologies; (2) lightweight materials; (3) new energy efficient mobility systems; and (4) alternative fuels technology demonstrations. Topic areas and funding amounts include:

  • Up to $40 million for batteries and electrification;
     
  • Up to $27.5 million for advanced combustion engines and fuels;
     
  • Up to $15 million for materials technology;
     
  • Up to $13.5 million for energy efficient mobility systems;
     
  • Up to $36 million for technology integration; and
     
  • Up to $1.2 million for transportation and energy analysis.
     

Concept papers for this funding opportunity are due on February 21, 2020, and full applications are due on April 14, 2020.

International

EU Funds Project To Develop Biobased Ropes For Aquaculture

On January 17, 2020, the European Union (EU) announced a new innovative project called BIOGEARS that will be funded under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The project focuses on the development of biobased gear solutions for the creation of an eco-friendly offshore aquaculture sector using a multitrophic approach and new biobased value chains. With the aim to address the gap of biobased ropes for offshore aquaculture, which is currently manufactured with 100 percent non-recyclable plastics, BIOGEARS will create a biobased value chain under the EU Bioeconomy Strategy framework. The European Bioeconomy Strategy aims to accelerate the deployment of a sustainable and circular European bioeconomy to maximize its contribution towards the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), as well as the Paris Agreement. With the goal of increasing aquaculture marketable products, BIOGEARS uses an Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) approach by integrating seaweed with mussel production. The BIOGEARS project’s intention is to develop biobased ropes that are tough, durable, and fit-for-purpose while still able to biodegrade in shorter time and managed by local composting facilities.

As part of the project, all project partners will participate in a BLUE LAB to enhance cooperation and enable tracking of innovation of the new biobased materials developed. Project coordinator, Leire Arantzamendi, expressed her hopes of boosting more eco-friendly mussel and seaweed production stating that BIOGEARS “will generate three rope prototypes with a highly reduced carbon footprint along the value chain.” The project will focus on the Atlantic Basin.

Continuing Education

Penn State Offering IMPACT Seed Grants To Support Biotechnology R&D

Pennsylvania State University’s (Penn State) Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences’ Center of Excellence in Industrial Biotechnology (CoEIB) is now offering a new round of IMPACCT Seed Grants to support interdisciplinary research, curricular development, or educational activities in the broad area of industrial biotechnology. These areas include but are not limited to: biopharmaceutical manufacturing, food biotechnology, and production of biobased chemicals. According to Penn State’s announcement, project proposals of up to $25,000 per project will be available. Favorable consideration will be given to grant proposals that: (1) leverage the capabilities in the CSL Behring Fermentation Facility; (2) provide matching funds to support new industry-funded collaborations; and (3) support graduate/undergraduate students in industrial biotechnology research or educational activities. The CSL Behring Fermentation Facility is a biotechnology pilot plant capable of research- and pilot-scale production of microbial cells, recombinant proteins, and other microbial products over a wide range of controlled conditions. Proposals should be submitted to CoEIB on or prior to 5:00 p.m. (EST) on February 7, 2020.

B&C Launches TSCA TutorTM Online And On-Demand Training Courses

Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) has launched the complete suite of TSCA TutorTM regulatory training courses online and on-demand at www.TSCAtutor.com. Professionals seeking expert, efficient, essential training can preview and enroll in on-demand classes to complete at their own pace and timing. In addition to the newly released online e-learning courses, B&C’s TSCA TutorTM training platform offers live in-person training at a company’s site and customized live webinar training, so companies can mix and match training modules and training approaches to provide the most suitable combination for their work needs.

Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) awareness is a critically important element in the 21st century work environment for any business that involves industrial chemicals. The new normal requires awareness of TSCA’s application to a company’s operations to ensure consistent compliance with TSCA regulations and, importantly, to understand and anticipate how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ongoing implementation of new TSCA will impact a company’s industrial chemical selection and use processes.

TSCA TutorTM online training courses include:

  • Video lessons.
     
  • Detailed hand-out materials, including copies of all presentations and relevant course materials from EPA and other sources.
     
  • Customizable, yet detailed and ready-to-use Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the regulatory topic covered in the session.
     

The courses were developed and are presented by members of B&C’s renowned TSCA practice group, which includes five former senior EPA officials; an extensive scientific staff, including seven Ph.D.s; and a robust and highly experienced team of lawyers and non-lawyer professionals extremely well versed in all aspects of TSCA law, regulation, policy, compliance, and litigation.

Online courses are offered at $100 for one-hour modules and $200 for two-hour modules, or $1,400 for the full 12-module training. Courses can be completed at the learner’s own pace, and enrollment is valid for one full year. Interested professionals should visit www.TSCAtutor.com to view sample course segments and purchase modules. Volume discounts are available for companies wishing to purchase courses for multiple employees. Companies interested in live in-person or customized live webinar training should contact [email protected] to schedule.

For more information about TSCA Tutor™, contact Heidi Lewis at [email protected].


Other News
 

World Economic Forum, “Why Sustainability Isn’t Just for Green Companies
 
Discover, “This Regenerative Building Material Is Made from Sand and Bacteria
 
Chemical & Engineering News, “Video: Scientists Spin Yarn from Crab-Shell and Seaweed Compounds
 
ars TECHNICA, “Researchers Completely Re-Engineer Yeast to Make More Biofuel
 
Yanko Design, “Made of 45% Bio-Based Material, This Solar Phone Charger Imitates a Sunflower!
 

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