European Bioenergy Research Institute shortlisted for sustainable award

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University has been shortlisted for the finals of a major international sustainable science award.

The S-Lab Awards recognise excellence in laboratory design, operation and management that create improved performance while enhancing environmental sustainability. EBRI is one of just 50 different worldwide organisations to be selected to compete in the final across 10 award categories.

EBRI is nominated for the best ‘New Laboratories – Research’ award, a category established by S-Lab in response to the need for more effective laboratories arising from financial, customer and regulatory pressures.

EBRI’s £16.5m facility, joint funded by Aston University and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), was officially opened on the Birmingham city centre campus in October 2013. The facility contains seven analytical and industrial laboratories and when operational, will be powered by its in-house Pyroformer™/Gasifier power plant using technology developed by EBRI researchers. It is the first demonstration plant of its kind in the UK.

Professor Tony Bridgwater, Director of EBRI, said: “We are proud and very pleased to be shortlisted for an S-Lab award. EBRI strives to be as environmentally sustainable and self-sufficient as possible. We are dedicated to educating the next generation of researchers and businesses through our bioenergy research activities and by providing support and innovative energy solutions to businesses. We have received much interest in the special features and equipment incorporated into the design of the building and our specialist laboratories, as well as the research conducted within the Institute itself.”

Director of the S-Lab: Supporting World-Class Science Facilities initiative, Peter James, said: “The S-Lab 2014 Awards shortlist shows that design, management and operation are changing in response to new knowledge, technologies and directives. The result is better research and teaching, more cost-effective operation and reduced environmental impact.”

The winners of the S-Lab Awards 2014 will be announced at a special ceremony in London on 1 September.

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For further information, contact Louise Ciaravella, Marketing & Communications Officer at the European Bioenergy Research Institute, on 0121 204 4637 or at l.ciaravella@aston.ac.uk

Notes to Editors

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI)

EBRI based at Aston University delivers world-class research into all aspects of bioenergy. EBRI has been established since 2007 and bioenergy research has been taking place at the University from as early as 1978. EBRI was recently awarded £8.2 million from the European Regional Development Fund to build a new world-class facility for West Midlands businesses working in bioenergy technologies and component supply chain manufacturers to try out, test and get ready for market new products and processes within this field. www.bioenergy-midlands.org

The European Regional Development Fund Programme

The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programme which runs from 2007 to 2013. This is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development. The West Midlands ERDF Programme has been allocated €400 million to invest in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. Priority areas and themes for the West Midlands are: Innovation and Research & Development, Enterprise Development, Sustainable Urban Development, and Inter-Regional Activity. www.communities.gov.uk/erdf

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