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Pioneering international research institute to launch at Aston University

26th June 2008 – for immediate release

A new pioneering research institute will be launched at Aston University on Monday 30th June 2008, paving the way for world class research into all aspects of bioenergy.

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) will carry out international research into all aspects of bioenergy, ranging from fundamental research in the field through to collaborating with industry in developing the deployment of innovative technologies. It will also offer unique opportunities for joint activities between industry and researchers from all over Europe.

The events of the grand inauguration will take place on Monday 30th June and Tuesday 1st July 2008 at Aston Business School, and are sponsored by Locate in Birmingham. The launch will be led and attended by internationally recognised speakers, delegates and experts in the field of bioenergy, from countries as far as Norway, Hungary, Italy, Spain, and Germany. The opening speech will be given by Aston University’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Julia King, who will be followed by a number of presentations exploring the latest topical issues in bioenergy research.

The wide range of activities the EBRI will carry out include: fundamental and applied research, analytical and test services for companies, consultancy for companies and governments, assessment of biomass conversion opportunities, training courses for industry, policy anddecision makers and researchers.The Institute will also develop and operate a demonstration scale CHP (combined heat and power) plant to be used for research and training and for industry to assess the feasibility of using different types of biomass in an advanced plant.

The EBRI, led by Prof Andreas Hornung, will promote and manage the implementation of bioenergy technologies at a local, national and European level. It will also provide operational and test facilities for industry and provide heat and power to the local Aston Science Park.

The EBRI’s activities and complementary research at Aston University will integrate the work of local and national Universities and act a focus for pan-European activities on scientific and technological aspects of biomass production, conversion and utilisation of products used for renewable power, heat, transport fuels and chemicals.

Mike Loftus, of Locate in Birmingham, said: ‘Everyday the media headlines reinforce the need to identify and implement new ways of generating energy. I have no doubt that the EBRI initiative will ensure that this region plays a fundamental role in this achieving this important task.’

Locate in Birmingham, the city's Inward Investment Agency, is working closely with Aston University on the EBRI initiative as part of the Science City agenda which looks to build on Aston University's strengths in research into bioenergy.

ENDS

For further press information or for press to attend the event please contact Hannah Brookes on (0121) 204 4549.

For further information on the EBRI please contact the Head of EBRI Prof Andreas Hornung on (0121) 204 3391 or a.hornung@aston.ac.uk

Notes to Editors

Visibility of EBRI:

The EBRI will contribute to the realisation of commercial scale facilities in “Energy Partnerships” with companies, authorities, public bodies and research partners throughout the UK and Europe, including:

� Providing heat and power supplies for the new EBRI facilities through pyrolysis, combustion and gasification technologies

� Collaboration with local companies to help reach the CO2 reduction ambitions of Birmingham for 2025

� Collaboration with the Odenwald district in Germany to develop and establish the first highly integrated biomass based power plant with a negative CO2 impact through carbon sequestration

� Utilisation of ash rich biomass in existing gasification technologies via pyrolysis in Austria

� Development of cost effective integrated pyrolysis/combustion units based on energy grass in Hungary.

Local and European networks, vision, collaboration and education:

Enhanced state of the art laboratories and study facilities will provide increased opportunities for collaboration and support, which will build on and develop existing collaboration with:

� Local, regional and national Universities

� Local industry; to support initiatives in developing bioenergy and biofuels

� International research institutes and Universities which are active in bioenergy to

undertake world class research

� National and international companies to develop and deploy state of the art technologies

� Development of a European MSc in Bioenergy, together with Italy, Germany and Hungary.

Establish global projects and collaboration

� India – ongoing negotiations with IIT Delhi (Indian Institute of Technology), IIP

Dehradun, (Indian Institute of Petroleum) and Anna University, Chennai for the

application of pyrolysis technologies to establish a “Science Bridge”

� Africa – strategies of partner companies to establish feedstock resources and bioenergy technologies

� South America – European technology transfer ambitions with Chile, Peru, Brazil and Argentina

� USA – interest in demonstrator and testing facilities for pyrolysis

� Canada – cooperation in pyrolysis technologies for distinct market needs.

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