Federal government funds biomass projects through IMCP program

By Erin Voegele | September 27, 2013

The U.S. Department of Commerce, the USDA, the U.S. EPA and the Small Business Administration have announced the first round of funding under the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership program. The initiative is designed to help accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in the U.S. and create jobs in cities across the country.

The first phase of the program provides 44 planning grants and investments totaling $7 million to support the creation of economic development strategies that recognize the community’s comparative advantages as a place to do business, invest in public goods, and encourage collaboration between multiple different entities to expand the area’s commercial appeal to investors.

According to information released by the Department of Commerce, grants and investments awarded this year will help communities undertake the strategic planning necessary to compete for the IMCP Challenge being launched this fall and awarded in the spring of 2014. In the challenge, the administration will designate stand out “Manufacturing Communities” and give them an advantage in securing grants and investments through programs offered by 10 federal departments and agencies. Top Manufacturing Communities may also receive large IMCP Challenge grants and investments to finance economic development investments in partnership with industry and localities, including workforce training, business parks or incubators, or infrastructure.

Entities that have been give awards through this round of funding include:

Northern Maine Development Commission—The Caribou, Maine-based Northern Maine Development Commission was awarded $200,000 from the Department of Commerce to create business and job opportunities and advance regional competitiveness through the Biomass Clean Tech Manufacturing Cluster Strategic Plan, which will advance the design and manufacture of biomass heating appliances in northern Maine. The commission was also awarded $75,000 in Rural Development funds from the USDA to develop a strategy to attract a European manufacturer of biomass heating appliances to northern Maine.

China Lake Technologies LLC—Ridgecrest, Calif.-based China Lake Technologies was awarded $100,000 from the Department of Commerce to develop a strategy to create new jobs in the region in the emerging bioproducts industry. This will help diversify the Kern County economy. The strategy will work to build upon the region’s strong aviation, space and military presence, as well as their strength in agriculture.

Makoce Waste Development Corp. Inc.—Rapid City, S.D.-based Makoce Waste Development Corp. was awarded $98,070 in Rural Development funding from the USDA to provide business development services for an advanced biofuel refinery on tribal land.

A full list of awardees can be found here. http://www.commerce.gov/IMCP