The initiative by BBSRC which will take total public funding to £36M over the next five years was launched at Imperial College in London. It will support the build up of research capacity into how bioenergy can help replace fossil fuels with renewable, low-carbon alternatives.
The UK already has some of the leading experts in photosynthesis - the exploitation of energy from plants and microbes from sunlight. The funding will look at expanding the capacity and skills base allied to turning laboratory excellence into products and processes. Universities and eligible institutions are being asked to come up with proposals for new research centres, collaborative research programmes or new research networks.
Launching the initiative at Imperial College in London, Alistair Darling said:
"We want to leave no stone unturned in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.
"By significantly increasing the budget for bioenergy research we are giving our excellent science base the opportunity to develop this emerging technology further. Helping it make the leap from the lab to the processes and products of tomorrow.
"There can be no greater prize for science than to contribute to tackling climate change - we want British scientists, British business to lead in that, which is why we are supporting this initiative."
Professor Julia Goodfellow, BBSRC Chief Executive, said: "Bioenergy has a key role to play in the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable, low-carbon alternatives. Photosynthesis is a highly efficient process. 99.5% of the energy that reaches the light harvesting structures of a plant is turned into energy but at the moment we have a poor understanding of what happens once a plant captures this energy. The UK has a world-leading plant science community and is well-placed to develop this science to promote and deliver economic and environmental benefits."
"To fully grasp the environmental and economic opportunities presented by bioenergy the UK needs to meet some important challenges. Our new initiative will help to do this. We need to increase the number of top scientists with bioenergy expertise, we need to bring the UK bioenergy community together into a coherent network, we need to develop a flagship bioenergy programme and we need to ensure that researchers and industry are closely engaged to ensure outcomes have real applications."
Alongside the initiative BBSRC will also look at ways to speed the development of bio-refineries. BBSRC will explore mechanisms for potential academic-industrial collaboration in key areas to ensure strategic research is pursued to underpin industrial processes for the production of non-petrochemical polymers, materials and chemicals.
BBSRC is currently asking eligible institutions to make expressions of interest and will be holding a town meeting in mid-April to explain the initiative to researchers in greater detail and to answers questions. More information is available from BBSRC at: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/science/initiatives/bioenergy.html
Press Office | alfa
Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent
25.09.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE
Producing electricity during flight
20.09.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy