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Senior appointment to steer sustainable bioenergy research

29 September 2009

Research to develop low-carbon bioenergy to replace petrol by using non-food crops and inedible parts of plants has been boosted by a new high-level appointment to lead the UK’s efforts.

Duncan Eggar C Eng, FRSA

Duncan Eggar C Eng, FRSA has been named the new ‘Bioenergy Champion’ of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) which earlier this year launched the £27M BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre (BSBEC) with the UK’s largest ever public investment in sustainable bioenergy.

Mr Eggar’s appointment follows a long career with BP involving extensive overseas experience. For the last eight years he has worked on business sustainability issues and their strategic implications; this included a two-year secondment to the UK Sustainable Development Commission.

As Bioenergy Champion he will play a key role in developing and coordinating the work of the BSBEC, as well as forging new links with national and international policymakers and other funders of sustainable bioenergy research.

Speaking on his appointment, Mr Eggar said: “This is a great opportunity to bring together different strands of fundamental bioscience, overcome technical bottlenecks and create business applications. I am delighted to take up the challenge to ensure that the UK is well placed in the future world of bioenergy.”

Prof Douglas Kell, BBSRC Chief Executive, said: “Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and making the transition to a low carbon economy is one of the greatest challenges the world faces. Sustainable biofuel has an important contribution to make, and is one of the few alternative transport fuels that we could roll out quickly using current infrastructure.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

The BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre (BSBEC) is an innovative £27M academic-industry partnership that will help to deliver the science to underpin development in this important and emerging sector. It is based around six research hubs of academic and industrial partners.

BSBEC provides a focus for ensuring sustainability, widening the range of materials that can be used as feedstock (raw materials) for bioenergy, changing plant cell walls, making them more amenable to breakdown and optimising fermentation to release energy.

BSBEC is made up of six hubs or programmes. For more information see: www.bsbec.bbsrc.ac.uk

About BBSRC

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £450 million in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. BBSRC carries out its mission by funding internationally competitive research, providing training in the biosciences, fostering opportunities for knowledge transfer and innovation and promoting interaction with the public and other stakeholders on issues of scientific interest in universities, centres and institutes.

The Babraham Institute, Institute for Animal Health, Institute of Food Research, John Innes Centre and Rothamsted Research are Institutes of BBSRC. The Institutes conduct long-term, mission-oriented research using specialist facilities. They have strong interactions with industry, Government departments and other end-users of their research.

Contact

Matt Goode, Head of External Relations

tel: 01793 413299
fax: 01793 413382

Tracey Jewitt, Media Officer

tel: 01793 414694
fax: 01793 413382