20M investment in UK bioenergy

Published:  18 December, 2007

An extra 20 million for research into green bioenergy was announced at the start of National Science and Engineering Week by Alistair Darling, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

The initiative by BBSRC, which will take total public funding to 36 million over the next five years, was launched at Imperial College in London.

It will support the build up of research capacity into how bioenergy can help replace fossil fuels with renewable, low-carbon alternatives. The UK already has some of the leading experts in photosynthesis - the exploitation of energy from plants and microbes from sunlight.

The funding will look at expanding the capacity and skills base allied to turning laboratory excellence into products and processes.

Universities and eligible institutions are being asked to come up with proposals for new research centres, collaborative research programmes or new research networks.

Darling commented: "We want to leave no stone unturned in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. By significantly increasing the budget for bioenergy research we are giving our excellent science base the opportunity to develop this emerging technology further, helping it make the leap from the lab to the processes and products of tomorrow.

"There can be no greater prize for science than to contribute to tackling climate change - we want British scientists, British business to lead in that, which is why we are supporting this initiative."

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