The Department of Agriculture Wednesday announced $5.4 million in bioprocessing, bioengineering, biofuels and biobased products research investments through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. NIFA recently awarded $4.8 million for 12 Bioprocessing and Bioengineering grants under NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, and more than $600,000 for six Biofuels and Biobased Products grants under NIFA’s Small Business Innovation Research program. NIFA =director Dr. Carrie Castille states, “NIFA’s Bioprocessing and Bioengineering awards fund projects that will stimulate new trade opportunities for the U.S. bioeconomy.” For example, the University of Idaho received nearly $330,000 for a project to develop an environmentally friendly approach for wood protection. Other projects include exploring the use of pennycress, a non-edible oil, in developing biodegradable plastic, and a bio-based extended-release insect repellent. The next Phase 1 request for Small Business Innovation Research applications is scheduled to open in July 2021, with an October 2021 deadline. Learn more online at www.nifa.usda.gov.