This cooperative research and development agreement call has closed.

Learn more about the projects selected in 2023.

Feedstock-Conversion Interface Consortium logo

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is offering a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) call for industry and universities interested in leveraging the Feedstock-Conversion Interface Consortium’s (FCIC’s) capabilities.

This opportunity will fund competitively selected CRADAs between FCIC partner laboratories and partners from industry and academia. No less than $2 million will be available for this CRADA call and up to four projects will be selected with a project duration of up to three years.

All DOE BETO funding will go directly to the national laboratories to execute the scope of the project, with the partnering applicant committing a minimum of 20% cost share to the project.

Timeline for CRADA Call



Week of March 6, 2023

CRADA Call announcement

March 14, 2023

CRADA Call webinar with open Q&A

April 14, 2023

Notice of intent deadline

April 21, 2023

Applicant presentation deadline

May 5, 2023

Proposal submission deadline

June 30, 2023

Anticipated notification


The FCIC is issuing a CRADA call to mobilize and deploy knowledge, tools, models, and other expertise that has been developed by the member laboratories of the FCIC. The consortium contains expertise in all areas of the lignocellulosic and advanced feedstock supply chain: from harvest of biomass through conversion. The consortium has focused on a first principles understanding of how biomass variability found in these feedstocks impacts process reliability and product quality. This knowledge can reduce risk, improve economics, and reduce carbon intensity, amongst other benefits that are of interest to potential industry partners seeking to utilize lignocellulosic and other advanced feedstocks. 

The intent of this CRADA call is to apply FCIC capabilities to real-world problems that the bioenergy and bioproduct industries are facing. To maximize the likelihood of near-term impact for industrial partners, the FCIC wants to leverage existing capabilities within the consortium as opposed to projects that require novel model or tool development.

View a full list of FCIC capabilities and tools. Specific examples of capabilities produced through FCIC include:

For more information, view the full list of FCIC publications.

Past Partnerships and Examples of Projects

In past partnerships between the FCIC and industry partners, work has included development of new sensors for control systems, development and testing of more wear-resistant alloys for preprocessing, and application of particle- and reactor-scale models to validate conversion performance, amongst others. See information about several FCIC 2021 BETO Project Peer Review projects for work completed as part of a previous CRADA call, including presentations prepared with partners Jenike and Johanson, Fulcrum Bioenergy, The Wonderful Company, and Forest Concepts.

As part of the process (during the Applicant Presentation), prospective partners will have the opportunity to describe the challenge they are facing to ensure it can be addressed by the capabilities in the consortium. This CRADA Call is intended to be open and apply existing knowledge, tools, and capabilities to the individual needs of the industry partners. To ensure maximum impact, the goal is to adapt or apply already developed knowledge, tools, methodologies, and models to the industry use-case or scenario. Examples of projects could include (but are not limited to):

  • Determination of the impact of particle-size distribution of a lignocellulosic material entering a gasification reactor that will permit acceptable conversion performance (e.g., stable operation and acceptable product stream attributes).
  • Determination of the allowable moisture content of municipal solid waste (MSW) entering a grinder that will permit acceptable grinder performance (e.g., stable operation, acceptable power consumption, and acceptable outlet stream attributes).
  • Quantification of perennial oilseed crop compatibility with existing hydroprocessing catalysts.
  • Improvements to a feedstock conveyer to make it less susceptible to clogging or plugging by feedstocks with high moisture content or broad and variable particle size distributions.
  • Improvements to a biomass separator to remove inorganic materials prior to gasification.
  • Optimizing the materials of construction of a reactor feeder to make it less susceptible to erosive or abrasive wear.
  • Enhancements to a reactor to improve the conversion performance for MSW feedstock with large variations in moisture content.
  • Implementation of existing analytical or measurement tools to create process controls.
  • Utilization of existing computational modeling tools to design a new prototype for a comminution or feeding system.
  • Improvements to preprocessing and fractionation of forest residues prior to thermal deoxygenation.


The following organizations are eligible to apply for this CRADA call:

  • All U.S. companies and universities, and foreign companies and universities, subject to DOE headquarters approval of the project.
  • Individual U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
  • Domestic for-profit entities, educational institutions, and nonprofits that are incorporated (or otherwise formed) under the laws of a particular state or territory of the United States and have a physical location for business operations in the United States. (Nonprofit organizations described in Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 that engaged in lobbying activities after December 31, 1995, are not eligible to apply.)
  • Foreign entities, whether for-profit or otherwise. Other than as provided in the section above, recipients must be incorporated (or otherwise formed) under the laws of a state or territory of the United States and have a physical location for business operations in the United States. If a foreign entity applies, it must designate in the full application a subsidiary or affiliate incorporated (or otherwise formed) under the laws of a state or territory of the United States to be a recipient. The full application must state the nature of the corporate relationship between the foreign entity and domestic subsidiary or affiliate. Foreign entities may request a waiver of the requirement to designate a subsidiary in the United States as the prime recipient in the full application (i.e., a foreign entity may request that it remains the prime recipient on an award). To do so, the applicant must submit an explicit written waiver request in the full application. To obtain necessary information to submit a waiver, contact a minimum of 30 days prior to the application due date. The applicant does not have the right to appeal DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE’s) decision concerning a waiver request. In the waiver request, the applicant must demonstrate to the satisfaction of EERE that it would further the purposes of this CRADA call and is otherwise in the economic interests of the United States to have a foreign entity serve as the prime recipient. EERE may require additional information before considering the waiver request.
  • Proposed projects must specify one or more eligible feedstocks and one or more eligible unit operations. For projects that directly involve conversion unit operations, the project must specify an eligible unit operation and an eligible conversion product. For projects that do not directly involve conversion unit operations (e.g., projects focused on feedstock handling or preprocessing), the proposal must clearly demonstrate the relevance of the project to one or more eligible conversion unit operations and conversion products (see below).

Eligible Feedstocks

Eligible feedstocks include lignocellulosic biomass, oilseed crops and their residues, municipal solid waste, and other organic waste. For the purposes of this CRADA call, feedstocks are defined as follows:

  • Lignocellulosic biomass refers to agricultural or forestry residues and dedicated energy crops.
  • Oilseed crops refers to U.S.-produced, oil-producing crops including, but not limited to, soybeans, cottonseed, sunflower seed, canola, rapeseed, peanuts, camelina, carinata, pennycress, and oil-producing annual cover crops.
  • Municipal solid waste (MSW) refers to the non-recycled portion of MSW that is sorted and discharged from material recovery facilities (MRF) and ordinarily is sent to a landfill but not considered or used for recycling. Specifically, the focus is the organic portions of MSW that can be converted to biofuels/bioproducts, including non-recycled paper, plastic, rubber and leather, textiles, wood, food waste, and yard trimming constituents of the MSW stream, and the relevant contaminants that could affect conversion of the feedstock to a fuel or product.
  • Organic waste refers to food waste from industrial, commercial, and residential sources; primary, secondary, tertiary, and post-anaerobic digestion sludge (i.e., biosolids) from municipal wastewater treatment systems; animal manure; and fats, oils, and greases.
  • Food waste refers to food from industrial, commercial, and residential sources that is no longer suitable for human consumption, and which would have otherwise entered an anaerobic digester, landfill, or other post-consumer disposition.

Eligible Unit Operations

Eligible unit operations include any unit operation(s) that occur after the initial collection of the feedstock. Eligible projects include:

  • For projects involving lignocellulosic biomass and oilseed crops, all unit operations after harvesting, up to and including eligible conversion unit operations.
  • For projects involving MSW, any unit operations after the MRF, up to and including eligible conversion unit operations.
  • For organic wastes, all unit operations after the initial collection of the material, up to and including eligible conversion unit operations.

Eligible Conversion Processes

Eligible conversion operations include both low-temperature processes (e.g., pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, microbial conversion, and anaerobic digestion) and high-temperature processes (e.g., pyrolysis, gasification, and hydrothermal liquefaction).

Eligible Conversion Products

Eligible conversion products include finished biofuels, bioproducts, and intermediates that can be converted to finished biofuels or bioproducts through additional unit operations.

Informational Webinar

To learn more, view the slides from the informational webinar held on March 14, 2023.

How to Apply

Follow these four steps to apply for this CRADA call. The deadline to submit an intent to propose is April 14, 2023, and the deadline to submit a proposal is May 5, 2023.

Step 1. Notify of Intent to Propose a Project

Prior to submitting a notice to propose a project, please read the terms of the CRADA. The FCIC Modular CRADA template has been reviewed and approved by most participating DOE labs. This template will be used for all FCIC projects and is non-negotiable. The CRADA is applicable only to FCIC projects where there is at least one non-DOE lab party, although there may be any number of DOE labs.

By no later than 11:59 p.m. MST on April 14, 2023, email with the following information: Name, organization, email, topic area, and national lab partner (if applicable). You will receive a confirmation of receipt email within one working day. No late submissions will be accepted.

Note: FCIC will use the information provided to contact those interested in applying for the CRADA Call. FCIC will not share this information, and it will be retained for up to three months. See DOE’s security and privacy policy..

Step 2. Meet with FCIC

To ensure favorable alignment of projects with BETO goals and FCIC capabilities, each applicant will be required to give a short presentation on the proposed project, using the FCIC CRADA call presentation template. The presentation should be no longer than 20 minutes and the applicant should be available for up to an additional 20 minutes to answer questions. Applicants will receive an email to schedule presentations.

Based on this preliminary presentation, applicants will be encouraged or discouraged to provide a full proposal submission. This feedback will be provided via email within five working days after the applicant presentation. If a proposal is encouraged, applicants will be partnered with a laboratory and FCIC researcher to assist with developing the proposal.

Step 3. Develop Proposal

Use the FCIC CRADA call proposal template to develop your proposal. Read the proposal template carefully to ensure you are following all instructions.

Proposals should be no more than 10 pages in length.

Applicants are required to commit resources to the partnership in the form of 20%+ cost share (e.g., for a project with a total budget of $500,000, available federal funds would total $400,000 and the industry partner would be expected to contribute a minimum of $100,000).

The minimum DOE funding for a proposed project is $400,000 and the maximum is $2,000,000. These amounts do not reflect cost share or project totals.

The maximum project duration is 36 months.

Step 4. Submit Proposal

Submit your completed proposal to no later than 11:59 p.m. MST May 5, 2023. Late proposals will not be accepted.

Note: FCIC and BETO will use the information provided in the proposal for the review process. They will not share this information for any other purpose, and it will be retained indefinitely. See DOE’s security and privacy policy.


How the Review Process Works

Step 1. Review Proposals

A panel of external reviewers will be selected by BETO to perform the reviews based on review criteria in the table below.

Criteria and Associated Weighting for Reviewing Proposals




Technical approach: research plan, technical challenges addressed, FCIC capabilities leveraged, milestones, proposed budget, and schedule


Potential impact: targeting BETO goals, addressing technical barriers, market impact on the biofuels and bioproducts industry, and public dissemination strategy


Appropriateness of government and FCIC funding, key personnel, and resources


Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) plan: appropriate DEI impacts considered for project size and scope


Reviewers will score the proposals based on the associated weighting of each criteria. Final funding decisions will be made by BETO based on funding availability and portfolio requirements.

Step 2. Notify Organizations of Awards

It is anticipated that notification of funding awards will be sent to proposal applicants by June 30, 2023.

Step 3. Sign CRADA

Prior to starting a project, a CRADA must be signed by the company or university and partnering national laboratory. The terms of the CRADA are non-negotiable.

Step 4. Launch Projects

Awarded projects are expected to begin around October 2023, but are dependent on completion of agreement paperwork.

Once a project begins, the project will be subject to normal review and monitoring by BETO. It is encouraged to provide notice of significant outcomes from the project to BETO in a timely manner. Outcomes may include publications in peer-reviewed journals, technical highlights citing impact to the industry partner or the bioenergy field in general, realized cost savings, or risk mitigation for the industry partner.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the application selection process?

Applicants must submit an intent to propose no later than 11:59 p.m. MST on April 14, 2023. Applicants must meet with FCIC researchers and provide a 20-minute presentation covering the proposal, allowing FCIC to provide a technical review for feasibility and relevance. Applicants must submit their proposals no later than 11:59 p.m. MST May 5, 2023. Reviewers will not consider submissions after that time; there is no appeals process. Complete submitted proposals, accompanied with the applicants’ acknowledgement of the application requirements, will be reviewed by a team of external reviewers, selected for subject matter expertise and independence from CRADA Call applications. The applicant, by submitting its application, consents to the use of non-federal reviewers. Non-federal reviewers must sign conflict of interest and non-disclosure acknowledgements prior to reviewing an application. The review team will score and make recommendations for each project proposal. EERE will then select from the list of recommended projects, based on strategic priorities and the available resources within FCIC. The FCIC will then communicate to all applicants the results of the proposal selection process and next steps for selected applicants.

Will any funds be distributed to applicants?

No. All awarded funds will be spent within the participating national laboratories, with applicants directing how resources and expertise within the FCIC are applied within the collaboration.

Will any funding be available to companies?

No. Companies are required to commit resources to the partnership in the form of 20%+ cost share (e.g., for a project with a total budget of $500,000, available federal funds would total $400,000 and the industry partner would be expected to contribute a minimum of $100,000).

Will any funding be available to universities?

No. The CRADA call is intended for stakeholders to leverage national laboratory resources. A company may subcontract part of the work to a university, but DOE funds are only allocated to the national labs.

How is cost share calculated?

Companies are required to commit resources to the partnership in the form of 20%+ cost share, where cost share is calculated as a percentage of the total project budget (e.g., for a project with a total budget of $500,000, available federal funds would total $400,000 and the industry partner would be expected to contribute a minimum of $100,000).

What qualifies as cost share?

Most substantive contributions to the project will count as cost share, such as, but not limited to, labor, travel, materials, equipment, data, or cash. Cost share may not be derived from U.S. federal government funding streams. Please see Code of Federal Regulations 200.306 for more details on what is considered allowable cost share.

Regarding in-kind cost share, is there any additional accounting documentation/requirement needed beyond the completion of the industry tasks/deliverables and their cost estimate in the proposal?

There are no additional accounting requirements for the proposal beyond the completion of the industry tasks/deliverables and cost estimates listed. If selected, the normal DOE requirements for accounting for in-kind cost share will apply.

How will intellectual property (IP) be managed?

Successful applicants will have the option to disclose background IP, where disclosure does not grant to any party any option, grant, or license to commercialize, or otherwise use another party’s background intellectual property. Further, per the non-negotiable CRADA terms, the successful applicant shall have the option to select from an exclusive license or a non-exclusive license to IP developed as part of the project. For details, please review the FCIC CRADA.

Can projects run longer than 36 months?

Projects that propose activities beyond the 36-month time limit can be proposed, but in such cases the review team will concentrate on what is proposed for the anticipated project period.

Are go/no-go decision points required?

This is likely to be assessed on a case-by-case basis and will refer to the challenges and risks specifically called out in the proposal submission. For instance, where a negative impact of a perceived risk is identified as a potential showstopper, this may necessitate a go/no-go milestone. The milestones should be used to enable proactive project management with clearly defined goals, metrics, and timelines.

Is there an official method to ask questions about the program?

Yes, please email

Can a stakeholder submit multiple proposals?

Yes, provided that each application describes a unique, scientifically distinct project and otherwise meets the application requirements.

Are appendices acceptable in proposals?

No. All proposal material must be contained within the page limit.

What are the intended outcomes of this program?

Proposals should be well-aligned with the missions of DOE, BETO, and the FCIC, to support the research, development, and demonstration to enable the sustainable use of domestic biomass and waste resources for the production of biofuels and bioproducts.

What does public disclosure (dissemination) mean?

Public disclosure of the key results of each project is mandatory, and dissemination plans will contribute to the overall proposal score. This disclosure could take many forms, such as a peer-reviewed journal article, an article in a trade journal, or a technical report published by the FCIC personnel working on the project. It is not the intention to require public disclosure of applicant’s proprietary data, but to share enough information to allow external stakeholders to benefit from the work performed. For example, if a project develops a new feedstock characterization tool, the details of the tool will be disclosed, but not data on the specific feedstock used by the applicant. Similarly, if a computational modeling tool is developed to predict the flow behavior of an applicant’s feedstock stream in a hopper, the model must be disclosed, but not the proprietary applicant data used to parameterize or validate it.

What types of projects are eligible for funding?

The topic areas are described above along with representative projects in each area. However, neither the topic areas nor the example projects are meant to be exhaustive—any project that will identify, characterize, or mitigate the impact(s) of the variability in an eligible feedstock or eligible process on overall process economics or risk is acceptable.