UC Berkeley News


EBI:  Taking a closer look
Questions answered, issues explored surrounding the Energy Biosciences Institute

| 12 April 2007

In a package of articles this week, the Berkeleyan offers details on the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI), including answers to often-asked questions, an overview of the social-science component of the research effort, a primer on intellectual- property issues, and an update on Academic Senate involvement.

The goal of EBI is to address the alarming realities of global warming by developing environmentally sustainable and economically viable transportation fuels as alternatives to high-carbon petroleum. EBI’s primary purpose is to generate scientific and technical breakthroughs that will make it possible to efficiently convert cellulose that is derived from non-food plants, such as perennial grasses, into carbon-neutral fuels.

A $500 million, 10-year research contract from BP will support researchers from UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and BP in what is envisioned as a highly collaborative, intensely interactive research mission to help address this challenge. A core component of the project will be social-science and public-policy research into the economic, land-use, food security, social, and other implications of introducing new biofuels; this component will help determine the most constructive strategies, and anticipate and mitigate potential negative consequences.

q&a Answers to frequently asked questions about the Energy Biosciences Institute
EBI logo What is EBI?
Academic Senate meeting Academic Senate wrestles with industrial alliances
calendar Energy Biosciences Institute timeline
planet Earth Shifting to a biofueled world: Research aims for wide social and economic benefits
Patent Office seal An intellectual-property primer: The role of IP in transferring technology to benefit society