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After a successful first run of its Biorefinery Pilot Research course in 2013, Bio4Energy has decided to give PhD students outside the B4E cluster the possibility to enroll in it when it is given again this year.

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The course is one of several in the Bio4Energy Graduate School, launched in November 2012, to fill a void in Sweden's higher learning system. It is designed to give student researchers—previously only those affiliated to B4E—the opportunity to learn about and engage in the work at some of Sweden’s most high-technological biorefinery pilot and UmU Logodemonstration units.

“Since the course was well received by students and industry alike, we are disposed to let at least two students  from outside Bio4Energy take part”, according to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., coordinator of the Bio4Energy Graduate School.

etc-loggaslu logo rgb web“There is no other course in Sweden that takes a close look at operations at these pilot units. This is why we have chosen to open [the 2014 application] to external students. [In the Bio4Energy Graduate School] we offer two unique courses which mirror the Bio4Energy research environment. Apart from the focus on techniques for biorefinery production there is a course in system analysis, Systems Perspectives on Bioresources, said Rova, professor at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU) in northern Sweden.

For his part, the LTU chancellor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., member of the Bio4Energy Board, said that opening the application to external students would be a step on the way to fulfilling the task which is B4E’s, namely to take a national responsibility for training tomorrow’s researchers and industry workers; those who will be responsible for bringing newly developed biorefinery technology to commercial application in a still nascent bioeconomy. 

“Bio4Energy has a responsibility which extends to the national arena to contribute technology for the production of liquid fuels… Opening the graduate school to external students is a strategic decision. We will embrace the rest of the country in a first step which extends to the national level. It will be a step towards building a graduate school which may become an international one”, Sterte said.

Umeå University (UmU) vice chancellor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., chair of the B4E Board, concurred. She said the increased exposure to external students and their home institutions would bring advantages to all involved;

“It will widen the PhD students’ contact networks. Everybody wins. The PhD students find out what niche areas of research are available at other universities. The universities themselves take inspiration from each other. Every graduate school I have seen so far has brought an added value… precisely on the PhD level".

Echoing Sterte's comments, the B4E programme manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. underscored the importance of delivering able hands to help building a bioeconomy which was sophisticated in terms of technology and efficient in terms of resources, be these material or monetary.

“We are in a position to encourage increased cooperation [between academy and industry] by giving new people the possibility to enter into academic positions. With this in mind we must be open minded and give those who have the desire the possibility to be part. At the same time we make the [B4E member] universities cooperate on an equal footing. As a result we are in a position to offer better education while keeping costs down”, UmU professor Marklund said.

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A press release concerning this news item has been sent to Sweden-based press and media, in cooperation with Umeå University and the Luleå University of Technology.

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