Launch of the new phase of the Supergen Bioenergy Hub

1 November 2023 sees the official launch of the new impact-focused phase of the Supergen Bioenergy Hub. UK Research and Innovation has committed £5million over the next four years to fund the hub’s work in developing sustainable bioenergy systems that support the UK’s transition to an affordable, resilient, low-carbon future.

New technology projects will lead innovation in key sectors such as aviation, hydrogen, heat and products, while cross-cutting projects will move research from development to deployment level, aiming to increase sustainable biomass production and use in the UK while minimising greenhouse gases.

With a focus on achieving impact, the hub’s objectives are to:

  1. Incubate new research concepts to identify commercial potential;
  2. Diffuse knowledge from UK research to effectively support deployment;
  3. Use UK research knowledge and capability to create an appropriate enabling environment for sustainable bioenergy deployment.

The hub is led by Professor Patricia Thornley at Aston University who is supported by Professor Jason Hallett from Imperial College London on the area of incubation, and Professor Helen Sneddon from the University of York on the area of diffusion. Professor Thornley will lead the work on creating an enabling environment through close engagement with stakeholders from industry, policy, academia and society.

Research projects will be led by a diverse group of academics from across the UK, including the universities of Surrey, Glasgow, Sheffield, Southampton and Strathclyde, as well as York, Imperial and Aston.

Work will be supported by industrial partners, including Rolls Royce, Uniper and the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) among many others, while policy engagement will continue with partners such as the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The hub’s projects, aims and objectives will be presented to the wider biomass and bioenergy community at a launch event at Aston University on 14 November.

Patricia Thornley comments: “I’m excited and eager to begin the work of the new impact-focused Supergen Bioenergy Hub. We will be building on our existing strengths in technology development and stakeholder engagement while going further to deliver innovation and sustainable deployment.

“I look forward to bringing our stakeholders together at our forthcoming launch event. We’re hoping to reenergise the biomass and bioenergy community, and to develop connections and partnerships with new people.”

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