Agrivida Receives $4.5 Mil Federal Grant

Monday, November 2nd, 2009
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Department of Energy Awards Research Grant to Agrivida

US Representative Edward Markey, chair of twin energy and environment panels in the House of Representatives, announced that Medford agricultural biotechnology company Agrivida will receive $4,565,800 from the Department of Energy.

“We have long known that Massachusetts is the Hub of the clean energy universe and this critical funding will help keep it that way,” said Markey. “These Recovery Act funds will help ensure that the next generation of clean energy technologies—and the jobs that come with them—will remain here in Massachusetts.

“I congratulate Agrivida Inc. for securing these prestigious awards to support ambitious energy research projects,” said Rep. Markey.

According to information released by the Energy Department, Agrivida will use its funding for the following:

“Agrivida, Inc. will develop an innovative technology to produce ‘masked’ cell wall degrading enzymes within the plant itself that can be activated after harvest, dramatically reducing the cost of cellulosic biofuels and biochemicals. The technology will help establish a sustainable market for non-food biomass resources to bolster the development of biorefinery jobs and commerce and create carbon neutral transportation fuels.”

On its website, Agrivida says its products are intended to boost energy independence, reduce greenhouse gases, and enhance the rural economy.

Rep. Markey said the funding is being awarded through the Energy Department’s recently-formed Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). All told, Massachusetts will receive over $33 million for clean energy research projects, more than 20 percent of all funds distributed nationally.