USDA awarded Spero Energy Inc. a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $100,000 to conduct research and development to increase the availability and competitiveness of biobased products within the agricultural market. Spero Energy is an Indiana-based company focused on the development of cost competitive processes for the conversion of biomass to renewable chemicals and fuels. The SBIR grant aims to support the development of a series of patent-pending biobased and biodegradable chelates. Chelates bind and deliver micronutrients to a variety of crops, which has been shown to increase crop production and yields. The funding will be used to finalize the chelate formulation, scale up the reactions, and further prepare for commercialization. Spero Energy, which began as a Purdue University startup, developed its technology in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette