Sustainable Bioenergy Solutions for Tomorrow (BEST) research program
Case - Published 14.10.2014
The BEST program makes the best of today’s Finnish bioenergy know-how to build new critical competences for tomorrow.
Finland has a long and successful history in bioenergy, especially in solutions based on forest biomass. Our forest sector has world leading competence especially in two issues: cost-efficient harvesting and logistics of forest biomass, and maximizing the use of forest biomass side streams as bioenergy. In the energy sector, the Finnish energy companies are leading experts in combined heat and power (CHP) applications. They also master the management of power plants as well as the local and national infrastructure issues with a very high total efficiency. The high performance of the energy and forest industry has in turn been enabled by the innovative solutions of the technology and engineering companies as well as the strong supporting research sector.
The Sustainable Bioenergy Solutions for Tomorrow (BEST) research program joins the strengths of the different players within the Finnish bioenergy field to answer to the critical research and development needs of tomorrow. The business environment is changing faster than ever, and new competences, operating models and networks are needed to succeed in the increasingly complex world. Also, the opportunities and challenges presented by new global developments (e.g. urbanisation, rising energy demand in emerging countries, increasing use of agribiomass and new biomass sources) call for new know-how.
Based on these global drivers, BEST aims at:
- Radically improving the value/cost ratio, reliability and flexibility of supplying different bio-based raw materials
- Enabling the increased availability of biomass raw materials in a sustainable way
- Creating different local energy concepts and new conceptual designs for process integration
- Boosting the ability to tailor bioenergy solutions to meet the specific requirements of each market
- Creating ways to systematically assess the development of the business environment and developing abilities for adopting both proactive and reactive strategies
- Actively disseminating the results and taking part in the international bioenergy discussion
An important characteristic of the program is the cross-boundary collaboration between the forest and energy sectors. The research agenda includes a wide range of topics from new generation biomass terminals to city bioenergy solutions and bioenergy opportunities in emerging markets. India is used as one case country for studying a completely new and vastly different business environment. As a prerequisite and a main driver for bioenergy, sustainability is an integral part of all of the research activities.
The big underlying question forming the core of the program is the role and competitiveness of bioenergy as a part of the future sustainable energy system and also as a key element in bioeconomy. How can the different value chains best create the most value in the future – in a sustainable way?
Sustainable Bioenergy Solutions for Tomorrow (BEST) is a research program launched in early 2013. The program partners currently consist of 21 companies and 13 universities or research institutes. The planned duration is four years (2013-2016) with an annual budget of roughly 4 MEUR. The program is coordinated jointly by CLEEN Ltd. (Cluster for Energy and Environment) and FIBIC Ltd. (Finnish Bioeconomy Cluster).