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Bioproduct Pilot Program Seeks to Boost Economic Development in Rural America

Guest Author
Madeleine Ring, NIFA American Society of Animal Science Intern

NIFA’s Bioproduct Pilot Program (BPP) is a new program created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

This crucial program seeks to study the benefits of using materials derived from covered agricultural commodities for the manufacture of construction and consumer products. It directs the USDA to partner with qualified institutions to support the growing sustainable bioproduct manufacturing industry, with a goal of providing low-cost alternatives to conventional everyday products. There is a total of $10 million available for the program.

In collaboration with USDA Rural Development’s BioPreferred program, BPP seeks research proposals that explore the benefits of bioproducts in relation to:

  • Cost savings relative to other commonly used alternative materials
  • Greenhouse gas emission reductions and other environmental benefits relative to their commonly used alternative materials
  • Lifecycle- and longevity-extending characteristics relative to other commonly used alternative materials
  • Lifecycle- and longevity-reducing characteristics relative to other commonly used alternative materials
  • Landfill quantity and waste management cost reductions
  • Product development and production scale-up
  • Any other benefits that the Secretary determines to be appropriate

The bioeconomy is an imperative movement for the economic development in rural America. The investment in these new businesses and technologies will support research, development and manufacturing of bioproducts for construction and consumer goods. This is good for farmers who are growing the feedstocks.

The bioproduct manufacturing will reduce dependence on foreign oil and reduce carbon emissions. The increase for production, distribution and sale of biobased products will spur growth in rural economies while lowering the commercialization risks associated with bringing biobased products to the market. This will help further the USDA’s department-wide effort to develop a circular economy where resources can be extracted, consumed and reused in a sustainable manner, and to ensure that economic benefits improve livelihoods in rural communities.

NIFA held a listening session on April 28 and a Request for Applications (RFA) informational webinar on July 14 attended by 186 potential applicants. Have any questions? Visit the Program FAQ page.

The deadline for submitting applications is Wednesday, August 31. Information on eligibility and more can be found on the program’s funding opportunity page.

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