WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The pre-application deadline for the USDA/Department of Energy Biomass Research and Development Initiative has been extended from March 6 to March 10.

USDA and DOE announced on Jan. 30 they planned to jointly award up to $25 million in funding for research and development of technologies and processes to produce biofuels, bioenergy, and high-value biobased products, subject to annual appropriations.

The funding opportunity announcement aims to fund projects designed to increase the availability of alternative renewable fuels and biobased products. The projects will aim to create a diverse group of economically and environmentally sustainable sources of renewable biomass. Advanced biofuels produced from these types of sources are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 50 percent.

The FOA will fund projects in the following three technical areas specified in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008: feedstocks development, biofuels and biobased products development and biofuels development analysis.

Award amounts are planned to range from $1 million to up to $5 million with project periods up to four years, subject to annual appropriations. Eligible applicants include institutions of higher education, national laboratories, federal research agencies, state research agencies, private sector entities, non-profit organizations, or a consortium of two or more of those entities.

The FOA is available online at www.grants.gov, and all applications must be submitted electronically by March 10, 2009. A minimum recipient cost-share of at least 20 percent of total project cost for research and development projects and 50 percent of total project cost for demonstration projects is required.