By Kari Williamson
The grant obtained by FuturaGene's parent company, Suzano Papel e Celulose, will be used to support FuturaGene’s advanced plantation forestry for bioenergy research programme, which is aimed at boosting yield in woody species, principally eucalyptus, through genetic modification.
The bioenergy grant award is from the Brazilian Government’s Science and Technology Ministry’s FINEP agency, which is responsible for selecting strategic technology programmes and supporting them through subsidised credit lines and non-refundable grants.
The grant was awarded for the project Improving the Competitiveness of Brazilian Eucalyptus Through the Development of Plants Genetically Modified.
Suzano, will provide counterpart funding of US$2.4m for the bioenergy project.
Stanley Hirsch, CEO of FuturaGene, says: “We’re delighted that the Brazilian Government has recognised the merits of our biotechnology programme for improving the yield of Eucalyptus plantation forestry. This is an important external validation of our science and business model. Together with funding from Suzano this US$3.6m investment will boost our bioenergy research programme which is aimed at significantly increasing the yield and sustainability of energy dense plantation forests.”