18 Nov 2015   |   News

EU Commission links up with Brazil in €10M biofuels research programme

Brazil has been producing ethanol from sugar cane at industrial scale since the 1970s. Now the EU has announced a programme to co-develop advanced biofuels using cellulosic feedstock rather than food crops

Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas has launched a joint research competition with Brazil to develop second generation biofuels made from cellulosic waste such as wheat straw, and non-food crops such as the fast-growing miscanthus grass, short rotation coppice poplar and willow.

The EU will co-fund the programme with the research funding agency of the state of São Paulo (FAPESP), the Council of State Foundations for Research (CONFAP) and the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, which between them will provide matched funding up to €10 million for two projects.

The Brazilian and European projects will have the same start date, the same targets and last up to five years. There must be a company in Brazil involved in the proposals, committed to putting up at least half of Brazil’s costs.

Submission opens in May 2016 with projects expected to start a year later.

Marine research pact

The EU and the Brazilian government also made a commitment to develop common scientific knowledge on the Atlantic Ocean. 

"Both Brazil and the EU share common challenges within the Atlantic Ocean,” Moedas said announcing the pact on a visit to Brazil. “I am certain that today's declaration will advance our future research and innovation collaboration".

Moedas’ predecessor Máire Geoghegan-Quinn signed similar declarations on marine research with Canada and the US.

During his visit to Brazil Moedas also promoted ‘Destination Europe’ a programme to encourage foreign researchers to apply for EU research funding. This was the first of several similar PR events planned in Latin America.

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