DBIA Awards Six Research Grants

The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance is awarding $1.2 million in grants to six research groups at the University of Wisconsin. This is thanks to the newly created DBIA Research Program.

The DBIA Research Program is funding research projects that focus on converting dairy co-product streams into commercially feasible, value-added products. The by-products of dairy processing are many and varied – whey, permeate, lactose, acid whey, etc. Typically, these items are low-value commodity products that farmers will spread on the land or feed to animals. The projects selected by the DBIA have the potential to develop technologies to utilize dairy co-products. These research projects will have a practical component, combining both research and development activities.

“We need to accelerate our innovation efforts to develop value-added uses for byproducts from cheesemaking,” says Center for Dairy Research Director John Lucey. “These byproducts should be viewed as renewable feedstocks for the emerging green bioeconomy. Each of the projects selected will try to scaleup or further develop their technology to bring them closer to commercialization.”

DBIA is a partnership between CDR and the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. Funding comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The dollars aim to drive dairy business innovation and make the industry more robust and resilient. The DBIA region includes Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

“These cutting-edge projects represent enormous opportunity for our industry,” says WCMA Executive Director John Umhoefer. “We’re proud to partner with CDR… to help support dairy processors’ advancements in environmental sustainability.”

The six projects will get funding for up to three years and will present on their work through the CDR industry research forums. The projects span multiple departments, including bacteriology, bioenergy, biological systems engineering, chemical and biological engineering, civil and environmental engineering, and food science. More details about the funded projects will be available soon: https://www.cdr.wisc.edu/dbia-research-rfp