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Aston shortlisted for major innovation award

EBRI

17 April 2014

Aston University was a finalist for a prestigious award for ‘Excellence in Innovation’. The shortlist for the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce Award was given in recognition of the innovative work and technology that has been developed by its European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI). 

EBRI was established at Aston University in 2007 as an EU Centre of Excellence in bioenergy research. EBRI conducts research into all areas of bioenergy and works in close collaboration with businesses and industry to maximise opportunities for regional economies.

EBRI’s researchers also develop innovative technologies, such as its Pyroformer™, which is capable of turning waste such as wheat straw, grass cuttings and sewage sludge, into energy. Currently in the process of being commercialised, the Pyroformer™ could offer an alternative to landfill and significantly help to reduce carbon emissions.

Speaking at the Awards dinner, Tim Miller, EBRI’s Director of Operations said: “I am thrilled Aston University and the European Bioenergy Research Institute are finalists for this Excellence in Innovation Award.  Innovation is at the core of everything we do at EBRI. From the research taking place in our fantastic new laboratories through to the work our professional team does to offer solutions and support to businesses, EBRI’s work is making a real difference to industry, society and the environment. With the EU 20-20-20 targets drawing ever closer, EBRI’s work in developing reliable, renewable and sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels has never been more important.”

In October 2013, a brand new facility for EBRI was opened on the Aston University campus. This £16.5m building, jointly funded by Aston University and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), contains seven analytical and industrial laboratories, meeting spaces and a demonstration power plant using technology developed by EBRI researchers. The power plant can provide the heat, electricity and cooling needs of the building and also part of the University’s campus. It is the first demonstration plant of its kind in the UK.

The Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce Annual Awards took place at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham last night (16th April). The Excellence in Innovation Award was won by Birmingham company Datatecnics Ltd.

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For further information, contact Louise Ciaravella, Marketing & Communications Officer at the European Bioenergy Research Institute, on 0121 204 4637 or at l.ciaravella@aston.ac.uk

Notes to Editors

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI)
EBRI based at Aston University delivers world-class research into all aspects of bioenergy. EBRI has been established since 2007 and bioenergy research has been taking place at the University from as early as 1978. EBRI was recently awarded £8.2 million from the European Regional Development Fund to build a new world-class facility for West Midlands businesses working in bioenergy technologies and component supply chain manufacturers to try out, test and get ready for market new products and processes within this field. www.bioenergy-midlands.org

The European Regional Development Fund Programme
The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programme which runs from 2007 to 2013. This is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development. The West Midlands ERDF Programme has been allocated €400 million to invest in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. Priority areas and themes for the West Midlands are: Innovation and Research & Development, Enterprise Development, Sustainable Urban Development, and Inter-Regional Activity.
www.communities.gov.uk/erdf

20-20-20
The climate and energy package is a set of binding legislation which aims to ensure the European Union meets its ambitious climate and energy targets for 2020. These targets, known as the "20-20-20" targets, set three key objectives for 2020: a 20% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels; raising the share of EU energy consumption produced from renewable resources to 20%; a 20% improvement in the EU's energy efficiency.