It has been a busy first year for BRISK2, with two calls for transnational access completed and the project’s first successful summer school at CERTH in Greece.

Since launch in June 2017, BRISK2 has been offering opportunities for biofuels researchers to access unique equipment and expertise across Europe. Sixty applications for transnational access (TA) have already been approved and biofuels researchers from across the world are now visiting BRISK2 facilities in Europe.

The first BRISK2 summer school in June 2018 offered a thorough introduction to biofuels production. The event was organised by CERTH and Aston University and took place over three days at CERTH, Thessaloniki in Greece from Wednesday 20th June to Friday 22nd June 2018. It was free to attend with refreshments and lunch provided. Fifty places were made available. 87 registrations were received, and more than 40 delegates attended as well as a number of BRISK2 expert speakers.

Almost half of the participants were already working or studying in Greece. Seven had travelled from Turkey and the rest included a mix of biofuels students and researchers from across Europe. Early career researchers, industry professionals and established biofuels experts looking to expand their knowledge in other fields came together to make this a diverse international event. The summer school offered a packed programme, with days dedicated to thermal conversion technologies, biological conversion and biorefineries. The event was capped with an awards ceremony and tour of CERTH facilities.

BRISK2 experts delivered a series of lectures and workshops covering topics such as biomass characterisation, pre-treatment fermentation, anaerobic digestion, pyrolysis, combustion, catalysis and chemicals, biorefineries and process integration and proteins. The event also provided an excellent opportunity to network with established bioenergy experts from academia and industry.

Throughout the summer school, delegates worked together in small groups to create a case study presentation, applying the knowledge gathered during the course programme. The speakers and judges agreed that the presentations were of an exceptionally high standard. Many focused on conversion of municipal solid waste, with prizes awarded to the best presentations. All participants received a certificate of attendance.