B4E research environment.
Jönsson is a professor in biotechnology based in northern Sweden and head of the B4E Biochemical Platform. He is just back from representing the research environment at the International Symposium on Alcohol Fuels, given in its 19th edition, in tandem with a European Commission-sponsored biofuels event in Verona, Italy.
“It is of great importance that Bio4Energy is presented in its entirety” in international fora, said Jönsson. B4E is developing a complete research environment, delivering all aspects of the biorefinery value chain. On a quick inventory, the research environment counts some 130 scientists affliated in one way or another with B4E. Moreover, more than 20 industrial organisations, including small firms and multinationals in forestry and its processing industries are part of the cluster, as well as a handful of research institutes running complementary initiatives on biorefinery research and innovation.
However, since the rapidly expanding field of bioenergy spawned a wealth of international conferences in any one month, considering carefully what events to attend became ever more important, according to Jönsson. Among events targeting biofuels, ISAF had the merit of attracting a greater-than-usual range of stakeholders since it covered several aspects of liquid and gaseous biofuels production, including biochemical conversion, pretreatment of raw materials, gasification and more.
“This is not only about how we produce biofuels, but also about how we use them. This provides good grounds for initiating new cooperations”. Jönsson should know something about this. Apart from managing a large network of stakeholders to the B4E Biochemical and Feedstock Platforms, he is a regular attendee of the meetings one of the International Energy Agency’s task forces on (liquid) biofuels whose task is partly to connect the international biofuels community.
So did he come back to Sweden with leads for starting up new cooperations and collaborations?
“Yes”. An immutable 'yes' by a scientist not yet ready to reveal his bounty but, nevertheless, willing to give a feel for the atmosphere at the conference;
“The IEA wants to know about commercialisation initiatives regading biofuels and lignocellulose biorefining”, whereas some stakeholders who came to hear his talk were more interested in the ways in which Bio4Energy handled intellectual property rights, in view of its large number of industrial partners, Jönsson said.
“They see that we have many companies (on board) and they are impressed by this”.