Aston University's BRISK boost to biofuels

Researchers will have access to biofuels technologies and expertise across Europe
Researchers will have access to biofuels technologies and expertise across Europe

12 December 2017

  • Aston University is a leading partner in a 10m EU project
  • BRISK2 to facilitate and fund access to research centres across Europe
  • Cutting edge biofuels technologies and expertise available at 55 installations
  • European Bioenergy Research Institute to welcome international researchers

Fifteen European research organisations, including Aston University’s European Bioenergy Research Institute, are opening their doors to biofuels researchers from around the world, providing access to state-of-the-art equipment and specialist expertise.

The second Biofuels Research Infrastructure for Sharing Knowledge project - BRISK2 - has been granted nearly 10m in funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, with Aston University receiving up to 900,000.

The university will fulfil a key role as leader of BRISK2’s promotion and dissemination activities.

Researchers can now apply for a funded research visit to any of the BRISK2 research partners and biofuels installations outside of their home country. The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) will also host research visitors and collaborate on BRISK2’s joint research activities, which run alongside transnational access visits.

Project partners will be investigating feedstock characterisation, developing advanced measurement techniques and system simulation tools, as well as researching innovative approaches to bio-refining.

Professor Tony Bridgwater, director of the European Bioenergy Research Institute, said: “I am delighted to continue welcoming biofuels researchers from around the world to EBRI through the BRISK2 initiative. In the previous BRISK project we were the most sought-after researcher exchange partner and led the promotion of transnational access across Europe.

“BRISK2 will continue to contribute to the success of biofuels development and implementation by focusing on promotion of expertise and knowledge. It will continue to provide opportunities for international collaboration, foster a culture of co-operation and establish Europe as a global centre of excellence in biofuels.”

BRISK2 launched in June 2017. It follows the first BRISK which ran from 2011 and 2015 and supported over 200 visits across Europe, creating networking and career development opportunities, as well as facilitating a number of published studies.

Project Co-ordinator, Andrew Martin of The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm said: “It is a pleasure to be a part of BRISK2, and I am really looking forward to working with the consortium and welcoming researchers for transnational access.

“The exciting part of BRISK2 is the ability to offer transnational access to researchers both inside and outside Europe, making this project truly international.” 

EBRI at Aston University offers biofuels researchers access to laboratories and equipment for biomass preparation and characterisation, bio-oil upgrading, catalysis, hydrothermal processing, as well as Professor Bridgwater’s world renowned expertise in pyrolysis.

BRISK2 will run until 2022 and enquiries for research visits are welcome. There are 55 installations across the BRISK2 network, with rigs including ECN’s MILENA lab-scale gasifier and OLGA tar removal system in the Netherlands, CENER’s pilot plant for biochemical processes in Spain and ENEA’s batch steam explosion reactor in Italy.

Details of the installations and how to apply are available on the project’s website


Notes to the editor 

About BRISK2: The Biofuels Research Infrastructure for Sharing Knowledgeproject - BRISK2 - will fund transnational access along with a grant for travel and subsistence. Applications can be made via the BRISK2 project’s website Enquiries should be emailed direct to project co-ordinators KTH at

BRISK2 project partners include: Aston University (UK), CENER (Spain), KIT (Germany), KTH (Sweden), Bioenergy2020+ and Graz University of Technology (Austria), ENEA and Politecnico di Torino (Italy), Sintef (Norway), LNEG (Portugal), ECN, Delft University of Technology and Wageningen (Netherlands), CERTH (Greece) and VTT (Finland).

For case studies and information on the first BRISK programme’s achievements, visit

About Aston University:Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established research-led university known for its world-class teaching quality, and strong links to business and the professions. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students.  Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston has been a leading university for graduate employment success for over 25 years and our students do extremely well in securing top jobs and careers.  Our strong relationships with industry partners mean we understand the needs of employers, which is why we are also ranked in the top 20 for graduate employability.

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