Celebration for new $115 million facility set for Feb. 1

By The Daily Illini Staff Report

A new $115 million research center will host its kickoff celebration Feb. 1.

The Department of Energy is funding a new bioenergy research center at the University called the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI).

CABBI is a collaboration between Illinois’ Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment and Carl R. Woese Institute For Genomic Biology, and will include 17 partner institutions.

CABBI researchers will focus on three important areas for creating sustainable energy: feedstock development, conversion of plants into fuel and the economic and environmental costs of turning plants into fuel.

“CABBI seeks to harness the latest technologies in genomic biology, synthetic biology, and crop sciences to create breakthrough discoveries for sustainable, cost-effective biofuels and bioproducts,” Gene Robinson, IGB director, wrote in an email.

The idea for the center came when the Department of Energy announced a competition for new centers in bioenergy research and faculty came together to write a compelling proposal, he wrote.

At the kickoff celebration, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis and Provost Andreas Cangellaris will make introductory remarks. Other speakers will include Vice Chancellor for Research Susan Martinis, followed by IGB Director Gene Robinson and iSEE and CABBI Director Evan DeLucia.

“CABBI is just getting started, and so be on the lookout for some great new discoveries in the months and years ahead,” Robinson wrote.

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