JBEI Overview: From Biomass to Biofuels

JBEI is one of three DOE Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs) established by DOE’s Office of Science in 2007 on the basis of a nationwide competition to accelerate fundamental research breakthroughs for the development of advanced, next-generation biofuels.

Funded at $125 million for its first five-year period, JBEI was officially dedicated on December 2, 2008 at its state-of-the-art laboratory facility in Emeryville.

In April 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a five-year renewal of funding for JBEI at the rate of $25 million annually through 2017.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz said, “Our DOE Office of Science has established 3 major Bioenergy Research Centers. These are the progenitors of what are now called innovation hubs where one assembles significant teams multi-disciplinary of scientists and engineers aimed at a specific challenge.”

“By partnering with industry and universities, we can help make clean, renewable biofuels cost-competitive with gasoline, give drivers more options at the pump and cut harmful carbon pollution.”

-Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

The principal investigator and CEO of JBEI, Jay Keasling, is an internationally recognized leader in biofuels research who holds joint positions with Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley.

The decision to renew the funding for all three BRCs was made following strongly positive evaluations of their respective performances by outside peer review teams.  Each BRC has been subjected to rigorous outside evaluation and annual reviews by independent peer review teams.

The other two BRCs are the BioEnergy Research Center (BESC) led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in partnership with Michigan State University. In five years of operation, the three BRCs have produced more than 1,100 peer-reviewed publications and over 400 invention disclosures and/or patent applications.

Said Berkeley Lab director Paul Alivisatos, “Berkeley Lab is proud of its leadership role in JBEI and proud of what the partnership has achieved in its first five years. We look forward to the continued success of JBEI during the next five years.”

“The renewal of JBEI’s five-year mission acknowledges the significant progress we’re making towards the development of advanced biofuels,” Keasling said.


A DOE Office of Science news release on the renewal of funding for the three BRCs can be read here.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the Unites States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.  For more information, please visit the Office of Science website at science.energy.gov.

For more about DOE’s Bioenergy Research Centers go here

July 2013 Progress Report from DOE Bioenergy Research Centers

U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Research Centers – Brochure

JBEI Brochure.

JBEI Leaflet.