Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced research grants awarded to spur production of bioenergy and biobased products that will lead to the development of sustainable regional systems and help create jobs.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Director Roger Beachy made the announcement on behalf of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack during the 16th 1890 Biennial Research Symposium in Atlanta, Ga.

"USDA and President Obama are committed to producing clean energy right here at home, to not only break our dependence on foreign oil, but also boost rural economies," said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. "These projects will give us the scientific information needed to support biofuel production and create co-products that will enhance the overall value of a biobased economy. This will propel us to out-educate, out-innovate and out-build in the field of renewable energy and help America win the future."

The long-term goal for the research projects, which were selected through a highly competitive process, is to implement sustainable regional systems that materially deliver liquid transportation biofuels to help meet the Energy Independence and Security Act goal of 36 billion gallons per year of biofuels by 2022.

The funded projects focus on three areas: crop protection for sustainable feedstock production systems, enhanced value co-product development, and carbon sequestration and sustainable bioenergy production.