Purdue University is the state of Indiana’s land-grant university and a Carnegie Foundation tier-one research institution for very high research activity. The University’s main campus is situated on 2,602 acres in West Lafayette, Indiana and enrolls over 30,000 undergraduate students and 9,100 graduate and professional students in nearly 200 undergraduate majors, 70 master’s and doctoral programs, and professional degree programs in pharmacy and veterinary medicine. Four regional campuses combine for a student enrollment of nearly 75,700 and a system-wide budget of more than $2 billion. Purdue is ranked fourth in the nation in a 2010 Wall Street Journal survey of corporate recruiters for preparing students for the workforce. Purdue’s broad track record of excellence includes top ten departments in nearly every one of its 10 colleges on the West Lafayette campus and over $438 million in research awards for fiscal year 2010. The vibrant research culture includes over 400 research laboratories across the West Lafayette campus.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, is operated for the DOE by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC and focuses on energy efficiency and renewable energy science and technology. Key NREL facilities housed in the Chemical and Biosciences and National Bioenergy Centers include facilities for developing and piloting biomass conversion technologies at the Field Test Laboratory Building and Alternative Fuels User Facility; a 5,000 ft2 Protein Engineering and Characterization laboratory; and the Biomass Surface Characterization Laboratory.

Northeastern University in Boston is a high-research activity university emphasizing “undergraduate education, core graduate professional programs, and research centers of excellence”. It is ranked 49th among National Universities according to U.S. News and World Report.

University of Tennessee - Knoxville is the state's land-grant institution and has over 1,400 faculty and 27,000 students at its flagship Knoxville campus. With more than 300 degree programs, UT ranks 47th on the U.S. News & World Report survey of the top universities in the US. Adjacent to the main campus, the Forest Products Center hosts the Center for Renewable Carbon (CRC) which conducts activities in biomass fractionation & conversion, biomass and products characterization and advanced materials research.