Why do we need an AD R&D Strategy?

We the anaerobic digestion and biogas industry have serious potential to help deliver against the UK’s targets for green infrastructure growth, energy and food security, climate smart farming, greenhouse gas mitigation and air quality. Capable of delivering over 10% of the UK’s domestic gas demand worth £2-3bn at today’s prices, as well as 35,000 jobs in the UK alone, the industry justifies significant R&D investment.

However our development has been hampered by uncertainty over financial incentives and limited access to the organic feedstocks that AD plants need. In the current financial and political climate the financial incentives currently available are only going to decrease, so, with margins already tight, the industry must focus on optimising the efficiency of the process and maximising the amount and quality of its outputs, if it is to produce a high enough return on investment to attract funders.

In this respect the industry has been held back to date by a lack of focus in research and development, both of which have a role to play in helping to remove technical barriers to the industry and maximising efficiency.

Recognising the difficulties facing the sector we are developing an AD R&D Strategy, in conjunction with you our members and the wider industry, to help support focused AD research and development and identify and fill gaps in knowledge, provide a better return on R&D investment and promote better commercialisation of existing knowledge.

As a result, this autumn’s AD R&D forum, on 6 November in Bristol, has a definitive purpose: to finalise a short, medium and long term R&D strategy to support the growth of the AD industry and help it realise its full potential. Participants from industry and academia will be tasked with reviewing the draft strategy and prioritising the final version.

Elise Cartmell, Head of Cranfield Water Science Institute, Cranfield University said:

“ADBA’s R&D Forum in April 2012 was one of the best conference events of the year. Well organised and attended it brought academia and industry together and delivered a constructive dialogue to support industry R&D priorities. Aiming to attend next time – yes.”

Organised by ADBA, WRAP, the Biosciences and Environmental Sustainability KTNs, and Fera, the forum will include an update on WRAP’s ‘Driving Innovation in AD’ programme; presentations on ‘Driving down the cost of AD’ and ‘Optimising AD Projects’, case studies of commercialised research, as well as facilitated workshops designed to develop the AD R&D strategy.

To view the latest agenda for the event and register check out event listing. If you would like to discuss the forums agenda and purpose in more details email me or give me a call +44 (0)203 176 0503.

Posted in: ADBA News, Industry News, Members' press release, News for Members, Policy updates, R&D Updates

Tags: ADBA events, Bioscience KTN, ES KTN, Fera, R&D forum, R&D Strategy, Wrap