New ARPA-E Project Awarded to UMass to Accelerate Innovation in Clean Energy Technologies, Increase America's Competitiveness and Create Jobs

A proposal by five TIMBR investigators, in collaboration with colleagues at UC Berkeley/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Washington State University, was selected as one of 60 cutting-edge research projects aimed at dramatically improving how the U.S. produces and uses energy. The research project is under the PETRO: Plants Engineered To Replace Oil category funded to identify breakthrough technologies that optimize the biochemical processes of energy capture and conversion to develop robust, farm-ready crops that deliver more energy per acre with less processing prior to the pump.

UMass Amherst will develop an improved oilseed crop that uses carbon more efficiently than traditional crops. The plant will incorporate features that significantly improve photosynthesis and also allow the plant to produce useful, high-energy fuel molecules directly within leaves and stems, in addition to seeds.