In March 2007, the Southeastern Sun Grant Center announced the availability of its regional competitive grants program with a Request for Applications, which was sent to key contacts at all land-grant universities in the region. The RFA outlined two grant categories: Integrated Projects with a maximum funding request of $300,000 for a period of up to three years; and Seed Grants of up to $50,000 for a one year period.
In total, more than 130 Letters of Intent were submitted, resulting in 93 full proposals by the submission deadline. Full proposals were received from 11 different land-grant universities in the southeast region.
After extensive review by a panel from academic, business and government sectors with expertise in all the DOT research priority areas, 13 proposals were selected for funding.
- Identifying novel lignin and lignocellulose degrading enzymes from natural decomposer communities – Alison Buchan, PI, University of Tennessee
- Agglomeration of Biomass Feedstocks for Bioenergy Applications – Oladrian Fasina, PI, Auburn University
- Conversion of agricultural materials to biofuels and bioproducts by Thermotoga neapolitana, a hyperthermophilic, anaerobic bacterium – Mike Henson, PI, Clemson University
- A novel approach to facilitate accessibility of cellulose and hemicellulose: characterization of hybrid poplar transformed with a tyrosine rich peptide gene – Haiying Liang, PI, Clemson University
- Evaluation of Reduced Lignin Softwood and Hardwoods for Improved Conversion to Bioethanol – Gary Peter, PI, University of Florida
- Use of Complex Fluids for Enhanced Cellulosic Pre-treatment – Orlando Rojas, PI, North Carolina State University
- Biological energy production from biomass by wood-feeding termites – Jian-Zhong Sun, PI, Mississippi State University
- Optimization of Pretreatments for the Production of Ethanol from Genetically Modified Hardwoods with High Cellulose and Low Lignin Content – Hasan Jameel, PI, North Carolina State University
- Bacterial Adaptations for Enhanced Cellulose Utilization: A Systems Approach – Sue Nokes, PI, University of Kentucky
- Enzymatic and Multiphase Solution Processing of Lignocellulosic Biomass – Subramanian Ramakrishnan, PI, Florida A&M University
- Mechanisms of Surfactant Effects on Biomass Conversion – Maren Roman, PI, Virginia Tech
- Comparative Genomics Guided Genetic Modification of Switchgrass Cell Wall for Improved Lignin Characteristics and Increased Cellulose Availability – Neal Stewart, PI, University of Tennessee
- Development of a Microbial factory for Efficient Conversion of Biodiesel glycerol to value-added products – Sang-Jin Suh, PI, Auburn University