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Energy Biosciences Institue named "Deal of Distinction" by tech-transfer group
Date:11/10/2008

The landmark $500 million biofuels research partnership that created the Energy Biosciences Institute has been named a "Deal of Distinction" by the Licensing Executives Society, an organization of U.S. and Canadian technology transfer professionals.

The annual Deal of Distinction awards, announced Oct. 22, honor the "complex art" of technology licensing. According to the society, the awards recognize agreements that are clearly written and "permit intellectual property transfer at fair value," thereby speeding the flow of research from the laboratory to the marketplace, where it can benefit society.

The Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI), a partnership between the University of Illinois, University of California, Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the energy company, BP, draws upon many scientific disciplines to find clean, renewable energy sources and lessen the impact of fossil fuels on global warming. The Institute focuses on the use of perennial crops, such as Miscanthus and switchgrass, and includes a 340-acre energy farm at the University of Illinois, where many of the practical innovations in developing and handling these crops are being pioneered.

EBI Deputy Director Steve Long, a professor of crop sciences and affiliate of the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois, said one of BP's requirements in their call for proposals was that these programs had to be integrated.

"Agronomists, economists, environmental scientists and engineers must work together on the same problems, so we are looking at the whole production chain, and innovations at each step," he said. On the Illinois campus, the research is being realized within the Institute for Genomic Biology, which was designed to accommodate such integrated and goal-oriented research and the energy farm.

According to a statement from co-chairs Bob Gruetzmacher and Nathan Golden and chair-elect Elaine White, all from
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Contact: Melissa Edwards, Institute for Genomic Biology at Illinois
mme@illinois.edu
217-333-0873
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert  

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