UC Davis has substantial capabilities in multi-sector coordination; plant biology, genomics, genetics, plant physiology, and engineering; biochemical and thermochemical conversion of biomass to heat, electricity, fuels, and products; long-term sustainable agricultural systems studies and biomass feedstock development; data analysis, visualization, and manipulation; and technology transfer and commercialization:
UC Davis is home to the California Biomass Collaborative (CBC), and the California Institute of Food and Agricultural Research (CIFAR). The Collaborative provides statewide coordination among industry, government, academic, and environmental sectors involved in biomass management and utilization in California. CIFAR has maintained research programs in bioconversion for fuels and chemicals since its inception. Both organizations conduct forums, meetings, and conferences to enhance dissemination of information on bioenergy.
Plant Sciences: Biology, Genetics, Genomics, Physiology, Engineering
UC Davis has more faculty conducting research in plant biology than any other leading university. Fundamental advances in genomics, genetics, breeding, engineering, plant physiology, evolutionary biology, and environmental science are underway to improve bioenergy crop performance and production. Faculty carry out basic research on biosynthesis and biodegradation of plant cell walls, crop production systems, sustainable agriculture, and energy crops. Logistics, harvesting and handling systems for bioenergy crops are being improved.
The UC Davis Genome Center provides state-of-the art genomics, genotyping, bioinformatics and proteomics expertise. Genome Center faculty conduct basic research in plant and microbial genomics, proteomics and metabolomics.
Biochemical & Thermochemical Conversion
UC Davis has a long history of engineering research on biomass conversion to energy and products. The Biomass and Bioenvironmental Engineering Laboratories in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering conduct research into thermochemical and biochemical biomass conversion for power, heat, fuels, chemicals and other products. Research is also conducted on harvesting systems, feedstock processing, transportation, and storage, as well as process integration, systems engineering, and optimization.
Long-Term Research & Feedstock Development
The Long Term Research on Agricultural Systems (LTRAS) project also provides support for biomass feedstock development. LTRAS conducts long term research into sustainable agricultural systems, critical to energy crop production. Selection of preferred energy crop plant species for diverse conditions in California is a goal of current LTRAS activity.
Data Analysis, Visualization, & Manipulation
The Institute for Data Analysis and Visualization (IDAV) at UC Davis is an Organized Research Unit that develops data analysis, interactive data exploration, and visualization technology with relevance to biotechnology and bioinformatics. IDAV is recognized internationally as one of the world's leading research units in scientific data analysis and visualization, providing state-of-the-art visualization environments to the approximately one hundred affiliated faculty, graduate students, researchers, and post-doctoral fellows.
The Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS), comprised of over 150 faculty, staff, and graduate student researchers, is increasing its focus on biofuels for mobile applications through its Sustainable Transportation Pathways (STEPS) Program to be launched in January 2007 with the mission of providing transparent and detailed comparisons of current and proposed vehicle fuel infrastructures.
The Center for Entrepreneurship provides academic training in technology transfer and commercialization to energy scientists and graduate students in management to serve as research assistants, helping faculty and campus labs to develop commercialization plans and business models for bringing advanced research to field trials, and ultimately the market.