Large Danish biorefining R&D platform launched

21.10.2013, News

Bio-Value SPIR is a new Danish research and innovation platform with a budget of 160 million DKK. Its puporse is to develope new technologies and competitive products based on sustainable biomass and thereby kick-start the advanced biobased economy. A range of universities, small and large companies are partners in Bio-Value SPIR, which is coordinated in a central platform management. The coordinator of Bio-Value SPIR and Professor at Copenhagen University, Jan K. Schørring, is pleased by the strong interaction, that already has been taking place between the companies and universities in Bio-Value SPIR.    

Professor at  University of Copenhagen and Coordinator of Bio-Value SPIR Jan K. Schørring. Photographer: Julie Søgaard.

In July 2013 the R&D platform Bio-Value SPIR was granted 80 million DKK from The Danish Council for Strategic Research and The Danish Council for Technology and Innovation. The other 80 million DKK in a total budget of 160 million DKK for the next five years come from the partners in the platform including companies like Haldor Topsøe, Novozymes, Arla, Rockwool, DLG and Norwegian Borregaard plus four Danish universities.      

On the 10th to the 11th of October partners had a kick-off meeting for Bio-Value SPIR, which goal is to develope methods and technologies based on sustainable biomass instead of oil and other fossil ressources.

The Coordinator of Bio-Value SPIR and Professor at University of Copenhagen, Jan K. Schørring, is looking forward to the work in the platform, which after only a few meetings seems promising:

 - The advantage of the platform is, that it is driven by the partner companies' demand for innovation. There has been a strong interaction between the companies and university partners in this process. It also strenghten the confidence in the platform's ability to deliver results, he says.

Want to create new products, companies and publications

And Jan K. Schørring is convinced that Bio-Value SPIR will be able to deliver on several parameters:

 - I would like to see the platform generate patent applications, small and medium enterprises developing new products which can increase their income, start up companies based on a new invention and - of course - a wide range of scientific publications, he says.

Jan K. Schørring is also convinced that Bio-Value SPIR will strengthen the trust in the biobased society because the platform can increase the evidence based foundation of the biobased society.  

But a platform this big and with so many partners also gives some challenges:

 - The challenges are of course that the R&D tasks described also will be realised and we keep the momentum when we are having meetings. Therefore, it is necessary with a high level of communication, and that partners are obliged to deliver results and live up to some criterias of success and being aware of the fact, that they are a part of a larger consortium.

Success depends on efficient platform management  

To manage this process M.Sc and Ph.D Jane Lindedam has been employed as platform manager.  

 - Bio-Value SPIR is Jane Lindedam's primary task. To have a research scientist like me to doing this task wouldn't give the same result due to the fact that I have many others tasks and therefore would not be able to spend the necessary time on this. I find platform management to be a central aspect in order to progress, Jan K. Schørring says. 

Read the interviews with two of the platform participants and their projects:

Novozymes: Upgraded sugarstreams

Aarhus University: Value-added Lignin products 

Read more about the platform: