Establishing a Joint UK-South America Partnership in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Biology


Description This meeting brought together researchers and funders from a number of countries including; the UK, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and the Netherlands and was held in Buenos Aires with the aim of exploring areas for new collaborations around the topic of using plant biomass for sustainable biorefinery development. Notably, the meeting also brought together senior representation from research funders from the UK (BBSRC), Argentina (INTA) and the EC. The meeting between BBSRC and INTA was possibly one of the first approaches between such agencies in some years and led to further interactions that have eventually resulted in an MoU between BBSRC and INTA and even wider interactions in recent years. The meeting also resulted in a number of new collaborations that have resulted in lab visits and exchanges between the UK, Argentina and Brazil, as well as on-going discussions and agreements to find ways to work together.
Exploitation Route This was a confidential discussion meeting and confidence building exercise, and there are no public outcomes. The outcomes are in the establishment of new relationships. The exchange of researchers between participants and the extended interactions between funding agencies has a cascading effect, and might lead eventually to joint funding calls.
Sectors Energy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

Description This meeting helped establish a working group of researchers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, UK, Netherlands and Sweden, who work together to anticipate research calls in the industrial biotechnology and bioenergy sector to do with plant biomass. This is leading to a range of grant proposals for collaborations in this area including to the FAPESP BBSRC joint call in Bioenergy and Horizon 2020. The meeting led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between INTA (Argentine Agricultural Research Agency) and the BBSRC. Since this meeting we have been in continuous contact with Dr Alberto Acevedo from INTA, Argentina and are pursuing new avenues of interaction. Through Alberto, we are in discussion with a company developing small modular bioethanol plants, who wish to enter the lignocellulosics sector. We recently obtained a new International Partnering Award with Argentina from the BBSRC and will use this to further strengthen our associations with the Argentine biorefinery research community.
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Description Establishing a Joint UK-Argentina Partnership in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy
Amount £35,000 (XAU)
Funding ID BB/R020167/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2018 
End 08/2020