Awards-1214To conclude 2014, Bio4Energy researchers Harry Wu (top left), Ewa Mellerowicz (centre), Jonas Hedlund (top right), Rainer Backman (left) and Paul Christakopoulos received grants to continue their innovate research on different aspects of biorefinery based on wood or organic waste. Photo collage by Anna Strom©. Pictures used with permission.On the Bio4Energy Feedstock Platform, two substantial projects—on the genetic modification of spruce for the production of new bio-based products and on forest production systems based on tailor-made trees, respectively—were awarded funds this month by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) under its 2014 call for proposals on Biological Production Systems.

The SSF explained in its motivation that "one… of the forest tree breeding projects…  is designed to modify spruce in a way that new bio-based products may be produced, all the while adapting the trees to future climate change and making them resistant to [decay brought about by] fungal growth. The second project involves modification of aspen trees [for them to be part of] a rapid-growth forest production system for the production of raw materials for 'green' chemicals and biofuels".

Professor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bio4Energy feedstock researcher in charge of the latter project, sent Communications an e-mail exuding delight and saying: "Nice Christmas present!" Her colleague at the Swedish University of Agricultural Science, professor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., responsible for the spruce modification project, received the largest grant. Together the two projects brought home more than SEK50 million (€52.4 million).

So much for surprises in the month of December. The previous month, Bio4Energy projects on ash deposits in the thermal conversion of biomass, sound-driven biotechnology and defect-free, selective zeolite catalysts, won awards from the Swedish Research Council in its annual Science and Technology round of funding, with individual grants totalling about SEK4 million to be distributed over a four-year period.

Professors This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.will be leading the three latter projects, respectively. While Backman of Umeå University is the leader of the Bio4Energy Thermochemical Platform, the other two are affiliated with the Luleå University of Technology, where  Christakopoulos is a PI on the Bio4Energy Biochemical Platform and Hedlund is the head of the Bio4Energy Catalysis and Separation Platform.

Bio4Energy wishes to congratulate all those involved in winning the awards described. To them and everyone else:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year of 2015 from Bio4Energy!

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