The evolution of the New Agricultural Bioeconomy Project has involved many funding sources, of which we are grateful because it has enabled us to good work. Here we highlight some of the funders benefiting our team. It is by no means inclusive.

Building Community-based Bioeconomies: Advancing Production, Resource Conservation, and Rural Community Vitality

The University of Minnesota and the state of Minnesota partner to promote emerging industries and new discoveries that address grand challenges through a grant fund called Minnesota's Discovery Research and Innovation Economy (MnDRIVE). More information about MnDRIVE can be found here. MnDRIVE funded this team to complete a project titled, Building Community-based Bioeconomies: Advancing Production, Resource Conservation, and Rural Community Vitality. 

Goals and Objectives

Agriculture is experiencing rapid and radical transformation, from emphasis on a few predominant crops and commodities, to a new and greatly expanded agricultural bioeconomy that features a wide array of new foods, feeds, bioproducts, biomaterials, and biofuels. In the near term, there is strong market demand for cellulosic ethanal, feedstocks for bioproduct and biofuels, and new animal feeds from biomass. This bioeconomoy will be an increasingly important part of the global and Minnesota economy. Our effort based in the Seven-mile Creek watershed is a transdiciplinary project to develop a replicable model for acheiving high levels of environmental and social benefits—as well as economic growth—from bioeconomic dvelopment. Our long-term goal is to enable society to fully benefit from the new bioeconomy. The objectives of this grant are to:

  • Advance crucial, game-changing technologies that are necessary to near-term bioeconomic development in Minnesota. These are processing technologies that create high-value commercial biomass commodities from sustainably produced agricultural biomass, and robotic technologies for efficient seeding of winter-hardy cover crops for sustainable biomass production. 
  • Create a replicable process for engaging technology research and development with other government, advocay, and community stakeholders in broad-based innovation, design and implementation efforts to guide local and regional bioeconomic development, driven by the agricultural capacities, environmental characteristics, and stakeholder perspectives of each community. 
  • Provide state-of-the-art decisions support to multi-stakeholder groups, using new technologies for linking computer simulation and visualization to support deliberation, design, planning, and implementation activties by these groups.