Consultation 2017

July 2017 – December 2017

Professor Patricia Thornley was identified to lead the next phase of the Supergen Programme and ultimately draw up a detailed proposal to establish a new Supergen Bioenergy Hub investigating ground-breaking new approaches to sustainable energy technologies, whilst addressing user-inspired challenges in the sector.

As part of the Supergen Programme, managed by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Professor Thornley received  a six-month grant to prepare and build consortia, scope out research strategies and devise networking and engagement plans designed to maximise impact in the bioenergy field. If successful at a second stage in 2018, Professor Thornley will be awarded £5 million of funding to establish a new hub. The leader-led approach to this call has been introduced after an independent review of the Supergen Programme recommended that Principal Investigators or Directors should be enabled to act as strategic and thought leaders to provide direction and  sign-posting research for users.

The Supergen Programme was set up in 2001 to deliver sustained and coordinated research on Sustainable PowER GENeration and supply, focusing on eight key research areas: bioenergy; energy networks; energy storage; fuel cells; hydrogen and other vectors; marine, wave and tidal; solar technology; and wind power.

EPSRC​ has supported seven Supergen hubs with £150 million of investment over the last five years (including calls and Centres for Doctoral Training) and the initiative has led to the development of new tools and technologies, such as pre-treatment technologies for emission reduction in bioenergy; greater collaboration between academia, government and industry; the creation of new strategies and innovation programmes, such as in CHP fuel cells; and provided an opportunity for international collaboration.

Three of EPSRC’s fellow Research Councils are providing funding and other support for the proposed new hubs: the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (bioenergy); the Natural Environment Research Council (offshore renewable energy); and the Economic and Social Research Council (technical and people aspects of all three proposed hubs).

The Supergen Bioenergy Hub

The Supergen Bioenergy Hub will bring together a network of academic, industrial and policy stakeholders to address the technical and engineering barriers to sustainable bioenergy systems. Bioenergy is energy from plants, trees and other material that has recently sequestered carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which can be utilised with efficient conversion technologies to produce low carbon energy.  The project will look to maximise the environmental benefits of sustainable bioenergy, and lead to an integrated, multi-disciplinary proposal for the future of bioenergy research in the UK and the development of a community network to focus on sustainable development.

How to get involved…

The consultation period has now ended.

You can view outputs here and a summary here.

If you would like to get involved in helping shape this exciting new opportunity you would be very welcome to attend one of our free consultation events. Each event has a slightly different technical focus and will also explore different functions of the new Hub. The events cover a wide geographical area and remote access will be available for those who cannot physically attend. To register for these free events please click on the theme link below or visit If you have any questions about these events, please contact  

Theme Date Focus Location
Fungible Hydrocarbons for Aviation & Shipping 25th Sept 2017
Industry York
BECCS & Hydrogen 26th Sept 2017
Industry London
Biomass Resources 27th Sept 2017
Academic Oxford
Waste, Heat & Power 3rd Oct 2017
Industry Manchester
Bioenergy Systems 9th Oct 2017
Academic Edinburgh
Biomass Pre-treatment 26th Oct 2017
Academic Hillsborough, NI
Bioenergy Vectors 6th Nov 2017
Academic Drax, Selby
Biomass Conversion 16th Nov 2017
Academic Cardiff

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