Mapping bioenergy stakeholders: A systematic and scientometric review of capabilities and expertise in bioenergy research in the United Kingdom

Abstract

This work, led by the SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub of United Kingdom (UK), examines the current status of the UK bioenergy research, identifies important research gaps and makes recommendations for exploitation of current capabilities and future research development. It was based on a survey-based research covering 71 bioenergy research stakeholders’ responses and a taxonomy map with key bioenergy topics and subtopics carefully defined. This novel study adapts the concept of “business intelligence” to innovation, in order to transform data into actionable intelligence that informs about strategic decisions.

The map shows that the UK bioenergy research explores the whole bioenergy chain, and the areas with high probability of exploitation and improvement identified are: biomass pre-treatment; application of bioenergy products and standardisation, portfolio of commercialisation opportunities, and research into market opportunities. Working on them will help technology and bio-products to be market-ready.

To complement the outcomes of this map, a scientometric review was done through analysing the trend of the number of publication, publication impacts, and stakeholders’ co-authorships. The study reveals that pyrolysis had the highest number of publications during 2017, in agreement with the major number of participants; and the highest publication growth was found in both pyrolysis and gasification. Conversely, combustion, which had the lowest number of stakeholders (by 30%), had the highest number of publications until 2015, indicating combustion research is more concentrated in specific stakeholders. Hydrolysis and fermentation showed high number of research stakeholders, but the lowest number of publications suggest that more effort in publication should be done.

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