The right combination of enzyme cocktail and ionic liquid pretreatment can be used to extract fermentable sugars from switchgrass in a single, wash-free step. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt)
To enable technology transfer from DOE-supported research centers (such as the three BioEnergy Research Centers [BRCs]) to the commercial sector, DOE issued a SBIR/STTR (Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer [Research]) program call. This involved having the DOE-funded projects self-identify intellectual property (IP) available for licensing to industry, and then offering the IP to industry through submitting proposals to the DOE Office of Science SBIR/STTR office. The call was open to any company, and the proposals are reviewed through DOE to ensure fairness of opportunity to industry.
JBEI had 23 Letters of Intent submitted to DOE in response to this opportunity, whereas the other BRCs had a total of 4. Of the 23 letters for JBEI, 14 of them are for pieces of IP generated by Sandians working at JBEI in the areas of
- recovery of chemically hydrolysed biomass using solvent extraction,
- mixed feedstock processing using ionic liquids,
- spatially separated combinatorial DNA assembly device, and
- rapid discovery and optimization of enzyme solutions using tagged biomass and mass spectrometry.