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Supergen Bioenergy Hub news

Bioenergy and waste gasification in the UK: Barriers and research needs

We have published a state-of the-art report on the UK’s current waste gasification capability and research. This builds on industrial and policy needs identified by a number of stakeholders.

Biomass and waste gasification is a versatile technology with the potential to supply low-carbon hydrogen, biomethane and the building blocks for a range of other fuels and chemical feedstocks. However, despite this potential, it has yet to see widespread use in the UK. Take a look at the report and key findings on our website.

Blog: How UK plantations can help mitigate the climate crisis

Professor Patricia Thornley, Director of the Supergen Bioenergy Hub, responds to a recent article in The Guardian: Trees on commercial UK plantations ‘not helping climate crisis’.

New government report on bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS)

Researchers from the Supergen Bioenergy Hub have contributed to a new report on BECCS from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST).

Blog: Important notice for all academic journal reviewers

Hub Director Patricia Thornley has published a blog with a personal reflection on the value of peer review in science, and the risks associated with changing this system as we move towards more open access.

Supergen Bioenergy Hub events

Save the date: SHARE Early Career Researchers’ Forum and Hub Researchers’ Day, 13-14 May (location tbc, likely Birmingham)

Please save the date for our annual ECR Forum and Researchers’ Day. We will be monitoring the situation in relation to coronavirus, but at this stage we are hoping to go ahead with the two meetings on these dates.

Statement on coronavirus

We are monitoring the developing situation with coronavirus and taking government and institution advice. The organisers of Supergen Bioenergy Hub events and meetings scheduled in the next 30 days will be in contact with attendees to provide an update and give alternative arrangements where necessary. 

Funding and opportunities from Supergen Bioenergy Hub

Postdoc opportunity in the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute at Aston University

Research Fellow: Process Modelling and Life Cycle Assessment (21 months fixed term) 
Application deadline: 21 March

PhD opportunities in the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute at Aston University

More information is available online and details of how to apply are on the Aston University website.   

Research Associate/Fellow at University of Nottingham

A Supergen Bioenergy Hub-funded postdoc position is available with Edward Lester and Orla Williams at the University of Nottingham in collaboration with Emily Kostas at UCL and Abby Samson at the University of Lincoln, exploring integrated bioenergy and high-value product processing pathways for biomass resources. Apply by 10 April.

Carly Whittaker is Principal Sustainability and Compliance Specialist in the RTFO Unit at the Department for Transport. In this profile, she talks about how the SHARE network for early career researchers has helped her, and the importance of researchers engaging with policymakers. She will be speaking and sharing her experiences at the SHARE Early Career Researchers’ Forum on Wednesday 13 May.
Events from our partners

Inaugural Supergen Energy Networks Conference, 29 and 30 April, London

The conference will consist of keynotes and parallel sessions, covering topics such as climate adaptation and mitigation, digital energy networks, and societal perspectives. A contribution towards travel and accommodation costs is available or the first 30 early career researchers to register to attend.

Frontiers of Engineering for Development: Engineering Inclusive Cities, 5-7 May, Manchester

The goal of this symposium is to introduce outstanding researchers and innovators working in the international development field (approximately 0-20 years postdoc, or equivalent experience in industry) to each other, and facilitate collaboration in engineering for development, the transfer of new techniques and approaches across disciplinary boundaries, and the establishment of contacts among the next generation of engineering leaders and beyond.

Delivering on net zero carbon in wastewater management: Progress and prospects, 14 July, Birmingham

This conference will explore how future carbon-efficient wastewater management approaches could take advantage of emerging technologies to become net carbon sinks.

Advances on Biofuels Symposium: Materials, characterisation, processing and testing (part of International Materials Research Congress), 16-20 August, Cancun

The aim of this symposium is to bring together academic and industry researchers to present and discuss the latest advances on biofuel materials, characterisation methods, processing technologies and conversion techniques to produce biomass-derived solids, liquids and gases for transport, power generation, heating, energy storage and material applications. Special focus will be given to second and third generation ethanol and biodiesel, and biogas; works on hydrogen are highly welcomed. Selected papers will be invited for submission to scientific journals. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 3 April.

Green Carbon 2020: International Symposium on Functional Biomass-derived Carbon Materials, 22-25 September, Zaragoza

GreenCarbon 2020 is open to the global research community as well as policymakers and representatives from the industrial sector. Topics include: production and characterisation of biomass-derived carbons through thermochemical processes; synthesis of biomass-derived porous carbons (and composites) and their application in adsorption, catalysis and electrochemical energy storage; and biomass-derived carbons for soil conditioning (biochar) and related environmental benefits. Abstracts for oral presentations and posters are invited by 31 May.

Biomass and Biorefinergy Network (BBNet) International Conference: Bio-manufacturing on the road to a net zero carbon economy, 23-25 September, Cheshire

Save the date for the first BBNet conference, featuring updates from policymakers, industrialists and academics on the  progress and direction of bio-manufacturing on the road to a net zero carbon economy.

Funding and opportunities from our partners

Job opportunity with the Environment Agency: Research Scientist - Climate Change Adaptation

The Environment Agency is looking for an innovative climate change researcher to help develop the evidence it needs to adapt to climate change. Deadline: 18 March

Mission Innovation Champion Programme

Applications for the Mission Innovation Champion Programme are now open. Run by a global initiative of 24 countries and the EU, it recognises and celebrates exceptional researchers and innovators who are accelerating the clean energy revolution. Register to apply by 18 March.

UK-India Tech Partnership (Future Mobility in Maharashtra)

A new £2 million fund is now open for applications for innovative projects in future mobility that address social or environmental challenges in India. The UK government expects to make four to ten awards of between £200,000 and £500,000 over up to 24 months to fund research and development projects by consortia including researchers and industry from India and international partners, including the UK. Deadline: 23 March

Global Challenges Research Fund Networking Grants

The awards provide up to £25,000 over one year to support collaborations between developing countries and the UK, and to hold networking events aimed at addressing global challenges. Deadline: 31 March

Industrial Visiting Professors at UK universities

This scheme supports the appointment of senior industrial engineers as Visiting Professors in engineering (and related) academic units at UK universities. This initiative aims to utilise the experience of the Visiting Professor to enhance student learning as well as the employability and skills of UK engineering graduates while strengthening external partnerships with industry. Up to £10,000 a year is available for three years, totalling no more than £30,000. Deadline: 3 April  

IBioIC funding calls

The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) Innovation Fund offers up to £100,000 to support costs incurred by academic partners to be matched by cash/in-kind contribution from industry. Deadline: 3 April

The IBioIC Feasibility Projects call focuses on innovative applications of industrial biotechnology addressing a real market need. This is a rolling call with upcoming deadlines of 3 April and 5 June.

EPSRC Decarbonising UK Freight Transport Network Plus: First call for flexible funds

As part of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Decarbonising UK Freight Transport Network Plus award, a flexible fund of approximately £480,000 is available for small projects that will pave the way to larger funding awards in future. The maximum funding available varies, depending on the research question you choose, with the maximum available being £75,000 (£60,000 at 80% FEC). The projects are expected to run for three to six months. Deadline: 17 April

Job opportunity with the National Farmers' Union (NFU): Net Zero Policy Delivery Manager

The NFU is looking for an experienced and innovative leader to guide UK Agriculture’s collective ambition of becoming ‘Net Zero’ by 2040. Deadline: 22 April

Environmental Biotechnology Network (EBNet) Proof of Concept Awards

Proof of Concept (PoC) funding is designed to encourage and support cross- and multi-disciplinary projects at technology readiness levels 1 to 4. Individual PoC projects should last no longer than 12 months and act as a springboard for future further research. Industry partners are not required but are encouraged. PoCs are awarded at 80% FEC. Deadline: 24 April

Supergen Energy Storage Network+ Travel and Conference Grants Call 2020

The Supergen Energy Storage Network+ connects and serves stakeholders across the whole energy community, advancing and championing UK energy storage research and deployment. A total of £450,000 is available over the next four years to support early career researchers’ development through travel and conference grants, feasibility studies and research projects that will enhance existing knowledge to facilitate industrial, policy or international impact. Deadline: 1 May

The Alliance Hubert Curien programme

The Alliance Hubert Curien programme is a joint initiative between the governments of France and the UK. It aims to encourage reciprocal mobility between early career researchers, leading to closer collaboration on research and innovation while strengthening connections that will lead to greater collaboration in the future. Deadline: 4 May

Institute of Chemical Engineering (IChemE) Global Awards 2020 - call for entries

With 21 categories, the IChemE Global Awards recognise chemical engineering's best people, projects and companies. New categories for 2020 are: Best Consultancy, Process Automation and Digitalisation, and Public Engagement. Entry deadline: 26 June

Take on an MSc student on industrial placement

What could you achieve if you had 10 weeks of access to the finest minds in industrial biotechnology? If your organisation would benefit from accelerating your progress towards commercialisation or researching a move into a new market, get in touch with the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre Skills team to talk about inviting one of their MSc students into your workplace over the summer:

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