The BESTF3 FINAL FORUM organised by the German Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR) was the final conference of the ERA-NET Cofund and held on 21st November 2019 in Brussels, during the 9th Stakeholder Plenary Meeting (SPM9) of the European Technology and Innovation Platform Bioenergy (ETIP Bioenergy) and in parallel with the H2020 ADVANCEFUEL project workshop.
The ERA-NET Cofund Bioenergy Sustaining the Future 3 (BESTF3) is an initiative funded by Horizon 2020. It is the final BioEnergy Cofund, building on two previous BESTF programmes, the first of which started in 2013. Under the BESTF programme in total nine innovation projects with total project costs of ca. € 28 Million were supported by Member States and the European Union, in order to demonstrate de-risk and scale up their bioenergy technologies, opening up opportunities towards commercial reality.
During the event moderated by Chris Young (BESTF Secretariat), five projects funded under BESTF2 and BESTF3 calls were presented. The project coordinators of Waste2Bio and MSWBH projects presented their achievements in developing technologies and pathways for utilization of the organic fraction of municipality solid wastes for production of bioethanol, butanol and hydrogen. Other projects focused on the development of cost effective yeast fermentation pathway for commercial production of cellulosic ethanol (CoRyFee) and development of a direct port injection gas engine that uses compressed syngas supplied through gasification of biomass and wastes (Phoenix Power) was also presented.
The coordinator of the BESTF3 project SegraBio Thomas Koch (TK Energy, Denmark) explained, which difficulties transnational bioenergy projects dealing with high TRL have to tackle and pointed out the reasons for the early termination of the project. In general, the high complexity of the technologies under development, the fluctuating prices of energy carriers and changing market and legal conditions bear high risks for this kind of projects. Peter Metcalf (Wilson Bio-Chemical Ltd., UK) and Phoenix Power Steve Butler (Sol Environment, UK), coordinators of MSWBH and Phoenix Power confirmed the difficulties to get follow-up funding. Both consortia, despite promising results and successfully achieving their project goals, have difficulties now to find investors and to bring their technologies to the market. In contrast, the Danish-Swedish Consortium involved in CoryFee managed to get a follow-up project funded under the programme “Fast Track to Innovation” of the EIC.
After project presentations a panel discussion with representatives of the EC – Dr. Maria Georgiadou (DG Research), the BESTF funders- Birger Kerckow (FNR, DE),– Lars Waldheim (Waldheim Consulting, SE, ETIP Bioenergy and evaluation panel of BESTF) and the funded projects – Caterina Coll Lozano (Imecal, SP) and Thomas Koch (TK Energy, DK) was held. The panellists discussed about the future role of Bioenergy for achieving the climate goals, the experiences and lessons learned from the BESTF projects, international collaboration and the impact of funding, future bioenergy funding and the legacy of BESTF.
The presentation held during the event can be found under the link.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 691637.
FNR contact person: Dr. Boris Vashev