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£5M awarded for new UK-Brazil joint projects in advanced biofuels and biorefinery research

Copyright: US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Flickr by CC 2.0

A joint investment between BBSRC and the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) has been made to support collaborations between UK and Brazilian scientists in advanced biofuels research.

The funding (£3.5M from BBSRC with equivalent funding of £1.5M from FAPESP) has been awarded to two partnerships between the UK and Brazil that underpin integrated biorefinery approaches for the manufacture of advanced biofuels. The successful projects will aim to address challenges including enzyme design and development, optimisation of feedstock attributes, and the development of novel fermentative organisms.

This investment further strengthens the partnership working between the UK and Brazil in biological research, building on both countries high quality science base and Brazil’s world leading biofuels production programmes.

Steve Visscher, BBSRC Deputy Chief Executive – International, said: “This joint call, led by FAPESP, demonstrates the strength of the BBSRC-FAPESP relationship and builds upon long-standing collaborations between UK and Brazilian scientists. This investment demonstrates BBSRC’s continued commitment to Bioenergy as one of our strategic priorities, and the benefits of working with global partners to address its challenges.”

Brito Cruz, Scientific Director, São Paulo Research Foundation said: “Bioenergy is extremely relevant for Brazil and FAPESP is happy to work with BBSRC to support the two grants selected. They address one of the most important challenges in bioenergy production today, namely the use of lignocellulosic material to produce valuable chemicals and liquid fuel.”

The BBSRC-FAPESP projects are:

  • Lignin valorization in cellulosic ethanol plants: biocatalytic conversion via ferulic acid to high value chemicals
    Professor Timothy Bugg, The University of Warwick, working with Dr Fabio Squina, CNPEM
  • An integrated approach to explore a novel paradigm for biofuel production from lignocellulosic feedstocks
    Professor David Leak, University of Bath, working with Professor Telma Franco, Unicamp

For full details of the funding call visit the BBSRC-FAPESP joint call in advanced biofuels funding page:



BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by government, BBSRC invested £473 million in world-class bioscience, people and research infrastructure in 2015-16. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

More information about BBSRC, our science and our impact.
More information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes.

Header image copyright: US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Flickr by CC 2.0

Tags: bioeconomy international partnerships biofuels Brazil research BBSRC press release funding