We use the tools of modern science to drive sustainable technological innovations in the energy, agricultural, chemistry, and mining sectors.

Call for Proposals – Deadline October 18, 2019

Overview | Instructions | Budget Template

Scientific Vision

We seek to balance society’s need to provide sustainable ecological protection with the need to maintain stable economic growth and development. We believe that the vast scientific toolbox, combined with the human intellect and creative spark, can provide pioneering solutions to some of the big challenges we face today. To that end, we are working with plants, fungi, and bacteria in combination with innovative chemistry to produce next-generation energy sources and sustainable industrial processes.  In addition, we are exploring the use of microorganisms for carbon sequestration and for the production of chemicals using electricity derived from renewable energy sources. As part of our core mission, we at the EBI are also committed to assessing the potential social, economic, and environmental impacts of our research, especially with regard to greenhouse gas emissions and the use of land and water resources.

About the EBI

The Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI), a partnership institution at the University of California at Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, was formed in 2007 with sponsorship from the global energy company BP.  The EBI was created with the purpose of drawing upon the breadth of scientific expertise and core research capabilities across the partnership institutions to address some of the big challenges facing industry today. Since then, more than 1,000 researchers have been engaged in EBI investigations, including professors, postdoctoral scientists, staff, and students. At the Energy Biosciences Building we have created a shared working environment that facilitates horizontal integration and interdisciplinary collaboration between different research groups. What drives our work is the commitment to develop sustainable, economically viable, and environmentally responsible options for the energy and chemical needs of future generations.  We also focus on the societal, economic, and environmental impact of our work through life cycle assessment and deterministic modeling. More than 75 programs and projects have already been funded by the EBI within a broad spectrum of issues both technical and social. Going forward, we are looking to further expand our research in the areas of carbon sequestration, sustainable chemical production, and water use mitigation.  These are imposing challenges, but with the knowledge and experience of top scientists from a multiplicity of disciplines, as well as access to some of the finest research facilities in the world, the EBI is in a unique position to deliver new and lasting solutions.


Sq ft of lab space


Research organizations


Funding since 2007


Researchers engaged in past investigations


Funded programs and projects

Our Leadership

John D. Coates


Dr. John D. Coates provides institute wide leadership for UC Berkeley, University of Illinois and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Isaac K. O. Cann

Deputy Director

Dr. Isaac Cann provides local leadership at the University of Illinois and contributes to institute-wide strategic planning.

Contact Us

EBI: Berkeley

Energy Biosciences Building

2151 Berkeley Way

Berkeley, CA 94704

(510) 643-6302


EBI: Illinois

Carl R. Woese Institute

for Genomic Biology

1206 W Gregory Dr

Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 333-0515