Shift2Bio, the platform uniting 36 institutions in what Bio4Energy researchers hope will become an international graduate school, has a brand new website.
This comes in follow up to Bio4Energy researchers at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU), Umeå University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences applying late April for funding to set up a graduate school to accommodate 50 doctoral students to be trained in the ins-and-outs of biorefinery research and development. That is, in activities to develop biorefinery and bioenergy based on forestry products or organic waste, which are the remit of Bio4Energy.
The advent of the S2Bio website was an important step in the processes of setting up the graduate school it describes, said its coordinator, Ulrika Rova of the LTU.
However, the consortium partners, representing eight European academic institutions, will be holding their breaths until sometime in July when notice is due to arrive from the European Commission to signal weather S2Bio might indeed become a project under the ERASMUS Mundus Joint Doctorates’ programme, which is what they have applied for.
Should the latter not be granted an EMJD project, the S2Bio partners would seek other sources of funding but which were likely to be less substantive, according to Rova. The S2Bio website would only be further developed once the Commission had given its verdict, she added.
"We see that there is great interest from industry” in Shift2Bio’s training doctoral students to become biorefinery researchers or experts to advice industry or political decision-makers, Rova said;
"We think that our research is unique and important to the point that we will have to find other sources of financing to allow [the Shift2Bio partners] to cooperate" in case no monies are granted by the Commission under the EMJD.
"We expect our doctoral researchers to become quite sought after", she added. However, should the EMJD application fall through, "we might not be able to accommodate 50 doctoral students, but ten".