Published on 16/11/2023
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New phase for Aston University-based Supergen Bioenergy Hub


•    Hub ‘reenergised’ following £5 million of UK Research and Innovation funding
•    Led by Aston University’s Professor Patricia Thornley 
•    She is now calling on other organisations to get in touch and collaborate.

Aston University-based Supergen Bioenergy Hub has officially launched its new impact-focused phase to increase sustainable biomass production and use in the UK 

It aims to reenergise the biomass and bioenergy community and develop new partnerships.

In July 2023 UK Research and Innovation committed £5 million to fund the hub’s continued exploration of renewable energy over the next four years.

The successful funding bid was led by director Professor Patricia Thornley who is also the head of Aston University’s Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI).

She is now calling on organisations within the sector to get in touch to discuss potential collaborations.

Professor Thornley said: 

“We’re hoping to reenergise the biomass and bioenergy community and develop connections and partnerships with new people.

“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.”

The hub will be focusing on new technology projects to lead innovation in key sectors such as aviation, hydrogen, heat and products. Meanwhile, 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. 

More than 90 representatives from industry, academia and policy working in biomass, bioenergy, bioproducts and beyond attended the official launch held at Aston University on 14 November.  

The three main aims of the hub’s new phase were set out. They are to develop new research ideas to identify commercial potential, share UK research to support deployment and to use UK research knowledge to provide support for sustainable bioenergy deployment.

Over the next four years Professor Thornley and her colleagues will be working with key industrial partners such as Rolls Royce, Uniper and the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA). 

Government partners include the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Professor Jason Hallett from Imperial College London and Professor Helen Sneddon from the University of York will support Professor Thornley. 

Notes to editors

Notes to Editors 
The Supergen Bioenergy Hub works with academia, industry, government and societal stakeholders to develop sustainable bioenergy systems that support the UK’s transition to an affordable, resilient, low-carbon energy future.
The Hub is funded jointly by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and is part of the wider Supergen Programme.
For further information contact Catriona Heaton Stakeholder Engagement Manager
Follow on X @SuperBioHub
Visit website at 
Visit YouTube Channel to watch the video on Carbon Balance

About Aston University
For over a century, Aston University’s enduring purpose has been to make our world a better place through education, research and innovation, by enabling our students to succeed in work and life, and by supporting our communities to thrive economically, socially and culturally.
Aston University’s history has been intertwined with the history of Birmingham, a remarkable city that once was the heartland of the Industrial Revolution and the manufacturing powerhouse of the world.
Born out of the First Industrial Revolution, Aston University has a proud and distinct heritage dating back to our formation as the School of Metallurgy in 1875, the first UK College of Technology in 1951, gaining university status by Royal Charter in 1966, and becoming The Guardian University of the Year in 2020.
Building on our outstanding past, we are now defining our place and role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (and beyond) within a rapidly changing world.
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