The long-term vision of BioWRAP is to create localized advanced biopolymer feedstock production, manufacturing, and use systems which support socioeconomic resiliency, positive bioeconomic cycles, biotechnology adoption, sustainable crop production, and soil health in EPSCoR states.
The long-term goal is to create a locally-sourced, customizable, spray-on biopolymer-based films to serve as soil cover that can be synchronized to crop growth cycles under differing climatic conditions and applied using precision agricultural equipment. Decomposition processes will be used as a time-release delivery mechanism for nutrients, beneficial microbes, and agrochemicals. This spray-on biopolymer mulch would function as a physical barrier to weed growth, thereby limiting herbicide selection pressure on herbicide-resistant weed populations.
Furthermore, use of biodegradable polymers as opposed to fossil fuel polymers as mulch material will limit creation of microplastics and disposal issues. Our primary thrust areas are to engineer advanced biomaterials, strengthen agroecosystems with regard to nutrient management, weed control and water cycling, and assess broader socioeconomic and environmental impacts of this technology.
NSF Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-2 Focused EPSCoR Collaboration (RII Track-2 FEC) awards provide opportunities to build inter-jurisdictional collaborative teams of EPSCoR investigators in scientific interest areas consistent with NSF priorities. Projects must include researchers from at least two EPSCoR RII eligible jurisdictions. The collaborative research must demonstrate an integrated and comprehensive vision focused on discovery and include opportunities to build sustainable STEM capacity that embodies diversity.
For more information on NSF-EPSCoR: EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program: Track-2 Focused EPSCoR Collaborations | NSF – National Science Foundation