The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided the initial planning dollars for the Sun Grant Initiative to establish the five regional centers. Working with the USDA, the Sun Grant Regional Centers are seeking to bring an industrial ecology framework to the development of agricultural-based biofuels and bioproducts by developing a database that captures three core subsystems of biomass utilization: feedstock production, feedstock logistics, and feedstock conversion.
The database model will be an important step toward a fully integrated systems approach to bioenergy production. Each Sun Grant Center is in charge of collecting detailed information on various aspects of the three subsystems and generating projects with a specific focus. The North Central Regional Sun Grant Center is focusing its efforts on the feedstock conversion subsystem and on new or emerging feedstocks for the region.
United States Department of Agriculture Research Grant Awardees: