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Biofuels Research Infrastructure for Sharing Knowledge II

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - BRISK II (Biofuels Research Infrastructure for Sharing Knowledge II)

Reporting period: 2018-11-01 to 2020-04-30

The vision of BRISK II is to establish a centre of excellence in the field of 2nd and 3rd generation biofuels via the uniting of leading European research infrastructures. Building upon the success of its FP7 predecessor, BRISK II Networking Activities will consolidate knowledge in the field, reaching out to a wide set of stakeholders and potential users. Databases generated within the project will serve as a valuable resource for academia and industry. The business plan will boost momentum beyond H2020 so that the research infrastructures can be utilised between framework programmes or even independently. Joint Research Activities will yield a manifold improvement in the characterisation of feedstocks for thermochemical and biochemical conversion processes, tying micro-scale and macro-scale phenomena in novel ways. Enhanced measurement techniques will lead to significant gains in process flexibility and reliability. New biorefining approaches are intended to explore novel process combinations, ones that cannot be tested without a concerted effort between project partners. Assimilated data and knowledge will be input to simulation tools for use in a broad spectrum of analyses. Transnational Access supports the biofuels research community through the availability of high-quality installations within a well-structured framework.
The work performed in this period entailed a consolidation of the consortium with various activities such as establishment of project master plan, launch of public website with accompanying dissemination materials, establishment and implementation of trans-national access application procedure, and set-up of data management plan in accordance with the Pilot on Open Research Data. Following activities have been performed in accordance with the project objectives.

Consolidation and out-reach to stakeholders and potential users: met by improving the public website content and user interface as well as keeping its content up to date. Dissemination materials such as newsletter, posters, leaflets etc. in conjunction with workshops have served to spread word on BRISK II and the offered TA.

Establishment of databases: the publicly available Phyllis-2 database was upgraded to allow new data entries. Procedures were established for assimilating data from all work packages to this database. A separate database for BRISK II publications was is established to ensure their availability to the public beyond life time of the project.

Joint Research Activities: team and individual activities have been planned and are underway. Specific feedstocks have been identified and used for further investigation in micro-scale and macro-scale settings. for example, based on the performed studies and experiments, suggestions to upgrade/modify pretreatment and fractionation process as well as biobased intermediates conversion processes were made. In addition protocols for biochemical and thermochemical conversion were established while tar protocols were improved. Standard measurements on bio-oils also were set.

Transnational Access: five rounds of TA application were concluded. More than 120 application from different countries were submitted out of which 119 were approved. Promotion of TA campaigns are well underway and installations received many call of interest from the researchers with especial interest in biofuel.
BRISK II is on its way to fulfilling the overall goal of establishing a centre of excellence in biofuels, building upon the success of its FP7 predecessor. Shortly after the project start-up, attention was focused on Networking Activities with the purpose of reaching out to the EU and international research communities for soliciting potential users for trans-national access. These initiatives led to a high level of interest. To exemplify, from beginning of the project 119 application was approved. While the majority of applicants were affiliated with universities, 13 was from public research organizations, and three was linked to a small-to-medium enterprise. Furthermore The majority of applicants originated from the EU or H2020 associated states (84%), with the remainder from international organizations (mainly in South America). The division between gender was 38% female/62% male, exhibiting a good balance. In addition, the majority of applicants (53%) have a PhD degree.
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