Research will facilitate improved predictions of microbial interactions and behavior

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $15 million for fundamental research or early-stage technology development of new bioimaging or sensing approaches that use quantum phenomena.

Quantum-enabled imaging and sensing have the potential to advance biological research by enabling new ways to visualize biological mechanisms occurring within cells,” said Sharlene Weatherwax, DOE Associate Director of Science for Biological and Environmental Research.In turn, we will improve our ability to predict how microorganisms and plants respond to a variety of environmental and laboratory-based conditions important for bioenergy and bioproduct production.”

Supported efforts will advance research on plant and microbial systems relevant to bioenergy and environmental research. Projects will explore quantum science concepts that promise to enhance image resolution and provide new ways for repetitive imaging to detect fragile samples without damaging them, produce cleaner pictures, and use light beyond the visible range to see unknown features of biological shape and movement.  Proposals will not only develop new techniques but also demonstrate the utility of the new imaging concepts with fully characterized biological samples relevant to bioenergy and environmental research.

Applications are open to universities, industry, and nonprofit research institutions as the lead institution. Collaborators at DOE national laboratories and other federal agencies can be considered but are not required. Total planned funding is up to $15 million, with $5 million in Fiscal Year 2022 dollars and outyear funding contingent on congressional appropriations.

The Funding Opportunity Announcement, sponsored by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research within the Department’s Office of Science, can be found here.