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Biofuels Research Infrastructure for Sharing Knowledge II

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - BRISK II (Biofuels Research Infrastructure for Sharing Knowledge II)

Reporting period: 2020-05-01 to 2021-10-31

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.
Project-wide objectives along with work carried out during PR3 encompass the following:

Consolidation and out-reach to stakeholders and potential users: met by further improvements to the public website content and user interface. Dissemination largely shifted to fully digital media in light of the pandemic.

Establishment of databases: results were transferred to the publicly available Phyllis-2 database in accordance with procedures established in PR2. The publications database in the Zenodo platform was updated with new entries.

Joint Research Activities: team and individual activities are underway with pandemic-related issues delaying some tasks. Additional feedstocks have been identified and tested for further investigation in micro-scale and macro-scale settings. Based on the performed studies and experiments, suggestions were made in terms of suitable pretreatment and fractionation processes. New measurement techniques were tested for biochemical and thermochemical conversion, accompanied by the development of related protocols. Experiments were conducted in unit operations for downstream processing in advanced biorefineries. Technoeconomic data was compiled and integrated for modeling of selected case studies.

Transnational Access: a total of six bi-annual rounds for accepting Transnational Access applications were completed, later succeeded by an open call for added flexibility during the pandemic. Until now more than 180 applications have been submitted out of which 174 were approved. Promotion of Transnational Access campaigns continue mostly in digital formats.
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 174 applications were approved. While the majority of applicants were affiliated with universities, 13 were 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 (86%), 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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