Borregaard has received 4 million Euros in research grants from the EU. The funding will be used for demonstration plants within development projects connected to Borregaard’s biorefinery concept.
“Borregaard has shown ability and willingness for research and development. Now we have been are rewarded for it,” says technology director Gudbrand Rødsrud.
The EU’s seventh framework programme for research and development is offering altogether 57 million EUR through the Joint Biorefinery Call during the period 2010-2014. More than 50 projects applied at the beginning, but only three have received support. Borregaard is represented in two of these.
The intention of the EU funding is to stimulate European industry to be more competitive in the international markets. The Joint Biorefinery Call is particularly aimed at the development of renewable fuels and chemicals to reduce greenhouse gases and make us more independent of oil and gas in the future.
From biomass to products
One of the projects has been named EuroBioRef and is coordinated from Lille University in France. The project has 28 partners who are jointly developing new methods of making chemicals from biomass. In this project Borregaard alone has received funding of 2.9 million euro.
“Our role in EuroBioRef is to develop technology which degrades the biomass to sugars in solution,” says Gudbrand Rødsrud.
The other project Borregaard has received funding for, Suprabio, is also about complete biorefinery processes from biomass to a range of products. Here Borregaard is contributing with microfibrillar cellulose. The project has 16 partners and Borregaard alone is receiving 1.1 million euro in EU support.
What is unique about this funding is that it is focused on building demonstration and pilot plants for optimising processes.
“This funding enables us to carry out research and build demonstration plants that would not otherwise have been possible,” explains Rødsrud.