One of the primary goals of the centre is to develop technology to facilitate the sustainable production of second-generation biofuels. The centre will have a specific focus on biorefining, the production of biofuels in conjunction with the production of other high value products.
The new centre expands on the existing CenBio. CenBio's ambition has been to illustrate how Norway can effectively and in an environmentally-friendly manner make more use of its forest resources, by utilising a greater proportion of waste for energy purposes, producing first rate biofuels and improving efficiency.
Connection to Foods of Norway
Svein Jarle Horn is both happy and proud that NMBU has been allocated a new FME.
"A number of critical questions have arisen surrounding the production of biofuels, and it is important that Norwegian research environments now gather in this centre and cooperate to develop sustainable biofuels. An important biomass resource in the centre will be Scandinavian forests. Much of the technology developed for the processing of lignocellulose is generic, and the centre has clear synergies with SFIen Foods of Norway, who develop feed from Norwegian biomass. The fact that NMBU is now host to both a SFI and an FME illustrates how strong Campus Ås has become in biorefining," says Svein Jarle Horn.
NMBU and NIBIO are the participants from Campus Ås. Other research partners are NTNU, PFI, SINTEF, HSN and IFE, with a significant proportion of user partners. In addition, a number of foreign actors in research and industry have a participating interest in the centre.
The centre will be effective for a period of eight years and will be headed by Duncan Akporiaye from SINTEF, with Svein Jarle Horn (NMBU) acting as deputy manager and Ågot Aakra (NMBU) as head of administration.
"This is an important step towards achieving Norway's ambitions for a sustainable, low-carbon future, where a comprehensive perspective on how we utilise our bioresources is crucial," says Duncan Akporiaye from Sintef.
A stronger system
The Norwegian Centre for Sustainable Bio-based Fuels and Energy is one of eight new centres receiving funding from the Research Council of Norway.
The FME system is integral to Norway's investments in research, development and innovation for the sustainable energy systems of the future. The system is administered by the Research Council of Norway and is directed towards solving challenges related to energy and climate, and is intended to contribute to innovation in trade and industry.
To date in 2016, the Government has backed the FME system to the amount of NOK 40 million. The system receives a total annual grant of NOK 190 million.
Statkraft is optimistic about collaboration with the new research centres:
"We are delighted with the establishment of the new FMEs. These represent a significant national investment in the further development of the renewable energy industry in Norway, in line with the Norwegian national energy strategy and Mission Innovation," says Hanne Bjørk, President Corporate R&D at Statkraft.