|A New Leader in Bio4Energy|
|Written by Anna Strom|
|Monday, 08 October 2012 17:52|
As of this month, Bio4Energy has a new leader. Marianne Sommarin,
deputy vice chancellor of Umeå University, in northern Sweden, will be taking over the chairmanship of the B4E Board when its reunites 25 October.
Today she went to meet 40 B4E researchers gathered at a biannual
Bio4Energy Researchers’ Meeting, given at Skellefteå, Sweden.
Sommarin, who is also a professor of plant biochemistry, and a part of the Umeå University management group, is the second person to hold the chairmanship of the B4E Board. She succeeds Ulf Edlund, an Umeå University professor of organic chemistry who retired this year. Edlund headed up the Board from the start of the Bio4Energy strategic research environment in 2010, until its latest meeting in May 2012.
In addition to the Board’s core task to oversee and to direct B4E budgetary allocations, Sommarin will take over a shared responsibility for updating and extending the programme’s research and development (R&D) strategy, one leg of which will cover the last couple of years of the first five-year funding period granted B4E by the Swedish government.
Secondly, R&D plans for a five-to-ten-year period beyond 2014 will be outlined, for the purpose of signalling to political decision-makers and further stakeholders that B4E stands ready to continue delivering state-of-the-art research in the areas of biorefinery and bioenergy, as well as consolidating and extending the research environment nationally and internationally.
The two strands should make up B4E’s “strategic plan” from next year until 2020 or 2025. A senior consultant who specialises in leading groups in devising business strategies or plans, with close ties to the B4E strategic partner the Processum Biorefinery Initiative, has been called in to shepherd the process. The "strategy and business management" consultant Peter Blomqvist of AB Anderblom Handel visited Umeå and the B4E executive management which held a preparatory meeting earlier this month.