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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Cooperative Research at the Regional Biomass Research Centers (Rbrc) Project Number: 0202-11000-001-44
Project Type: Memorandum of Understanding

Start Date: Sep 30, 2010
End Date: Sep 29, 2015

Objective:
The plan, Growing America's Fuels, outlines a new USG approach that utilizes the core competencies of agencies across government and public-private partnerships to accelerate the commercial establishment of advanced biofuels production, while supporting the existing biofuels industry. The plan identifies USDA as having a specific research leadership responsibility for: 1) the development of improved varieties of dedicated biomass crops and purpose-grown wood species, and 2) their sustainable production/management and harvest of biomass and other dedicated feedstocks within existing agricultural and forest systems suited to different growing environments. This USDA-led effort will help ensure that dependable supplies of needed feedstock are available for the production of advanced biofuels to meet legislated goals and market demand, and that as many rural areas across the country as possible can participate and benefit economically. The purpose of this MOU is to coordinate and facilitate research across the five RBRCs. To this end, the Participants intend jointly to explore and coordinate research activities of mutual interest which should be implemented by mutual understanding and in conformance with the regulations and policies of both Participants. It does not supersede or void existing agreements between ARS and FS or any of their Institutes or Centers.

Approach:
The Participants recognize that the Regional Biomass Research Centers (RBRCs): 1) will depend upon the collective contributions of USDA research and action agency programs; 2) will require robust partnerships with other federal and state agencies, land grant and other universities, industries and investors, non-government organizations and foundations, tribal nations, and international entities; 3) are strategic coordinated networks of existing scientists and facilities linked by newly formed relationships, not new buildings or restricted to single locations; 4) will provide the critical mass needed for developing high-performance interdisciplinary and multi-institutional teams to help guide biomass research across the government, and be competitive in pursuing extramural support from grant programs and funded partnerships; and 5) will need to develop a communications strategy that will report accomplishments, milestones and metrics internally to the USDA and to the public. The Participants also recognize that cooperation is a matter of working together toward common goals of mutual interest, mutual understandings, and efficient administration of cooperative programs. Nothing in this broad understanding is to be construed as interfering in any way with the basic responsibilities and authority of either Participant for independent action. This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) defines in general terms the basis on which the Participants intend to cooperate. Individual projects may be developed between the Participants that outline specific research projects. This MOU does not create any legally binding obligations between the Participants. This MOU is not intended to, and does not create, any right, benefit, or trust responsibility, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity, by a party against the United States or Israel, their agencies, their officers, or any person. Nothing in this MOU obligates either Participant to obligate or transfer any funds. Cooperation under this MOU may commence from the date of the last signature and is expected to continue for five years. This MOU may be extended or revised by mutual determination of the Participants in writing. Requests for major changes should be submitted to each Participant not less than 90 calendar days prior to the proposed effective date. A Participant should endeavor to give the other Participant at least 90 calendar days notice of its intention to end its cooperation under this MOU and the Participants should continue to work together to conclude specific cooperative activities already in progress.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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