On May 9, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the recipients of up to $10 million in funding through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI). BRDI is a joint program through DOE and USDA that helps develop sustainable sources of biomass and increase the availability of biobased fuels and products. DOE selected two of the grant winners to receive between $1 million and $2 million: the Ohio State University (OSU) project is 'Biomass Gasification for Chemicals Production Using Chemical Looping Techniques,' and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) project is 'Improving Tolerance of Yeast to Lignocellulose-derived Feedstocks and Products.'
- University of California-Riverside, to convert poplar to ethanol and polyurethane via pretreatment and lignin polymer synthesis;
- University of Montana, to quantify ecological and economic opportunities of various forest types and to quantify benefits of replacing fossil fuel with forest-based bioenergy;
- North Carolina Biotechnology Center, to optimize production of educational resources on biomass sorghum production in the Mid-Atlantic region;
- Dartmouth College, to overcome the lignocellulosic recalcitrance barrier; and
- State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, to provide life cycle understanding for the production of willow and forest biomass to mitigate investment risk.