Dec 2017 newsletter: Sustainable Biofuels

Contribute to definition of priorities for international collaboration on research, development and innovation for biofuels

At the end of November 2017 the progress of the Sustainable Biofuels Innovation Challenge (SBIC) was presented at a major international conference Scaling Up 2017: Making the Global Bioeconomy Mainstream in Ottawa, Canada. Fernando Preto, the Canadian lead for the Innovation Challenge, presented a summary of progress to date and outlined the process currently under way to develop a detailed action plan for future collaborative work.

The development of the action plan will be based on further discussions within the SBIC, the review of the preliminary results of a survey of the biofuels research landscape in the 16 SBIC participating countries and the newly released IEA Technology Roadmap for Bioenergy. Stakeholders from around the world will meet in New Delhi in February 2018 to finalise the action plan.

The Scaling Up 2017 conference was preceded by a one-day “Bioenergy for the Future” workshop jointly planned by the IEA Renewable Energy Division and the SBIC. The workshop, hosted by Fernando Preto of Natural Resources Canada, featured the launch of the IEA Technology Roadmap for Bioenergy: Delivering Sustainable Bioenergy and also served as a review of “Lessons Learned” from previous attempts at the scaling up of biomass supply and conversion technologies.

The workshop included an overview of Mission Innovation by Dean Haslip, co-lead of the Analysis and Joint Research Group of Mission Innovation, and a report on the Biofuture Platform from Clarissa Nina from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil. Clarissa announced the completion of the joint SBIC/Biofuture Platform survey on biofuels and the bioeconomy, including research investment figures and a mapping of the key institutions and players. 14 out of 16 countries participating in SBIC have completed the survey. Based on the survey results and other relevant inputs, such as the IEA Technology Roadmap for Bioenergy, SBIC intends to develop a Biofuels Research action plan document to identify research priorities and collaboration opportunities.

Building on this momentum, India, also a SBIC co-lead and a Biofuture Platform member state, will host a joint Mission Innovation and Biofuture Platform conference in New Delhi on 26th and 27th February 2018, focused on accelerating development of sustainable biofuels. The workshop will bring together international biofuels experts to address key research, development, and demonstration issues, with the goal of achieving performance breakthroughs and cost reductions for large scale production of advanced biofuels. More information on the conference will be published on the Mission Innovation website in due course.