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EU and Japan invest EUR 10.7 million in "breakthrough" advanced biofuels and alternative renewable fuels research

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation has recently announced the launch of three joint research and innovation projects in the area of advanced biofuels and alternative renewable fuels. The projects stem from a call supported by the EU together with the Government of Japan, represented by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT).

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The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation has recently announced the launch of three joint research and innovation projects in the area of advanced biofuels and alternative renewable fuels. The projects have received a total of EUR 10.7 million and stem from a call supported by the EU together with the Government of Japan, represented by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT).

Three projects have been awarded joint funding under the framework of the EU-Japan Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement. The projects will start on May 1, 2021, and have received a total of EUR 10.7 million.

Of this EUR 9.55 million from Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation framework programme (2014-2020), and approximately EUR 1.2 million from Japan’s Strategic International Collaborative Research Program (SICORP) under the Japan Science and Technology Agency.

We need to replace fossil fuels to reach the ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change. The cooperation between researchers, institutions, and industry in the EU and Japan will foster breakthrough innovation in advanced biofuels and alternative renewable fuels and will strengthen the European and Japanese technology base in those areas. We are looking forward to strengthening our cooperation under Horizon Europe, said Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth.

The three selected projects are:

  • The LAURELIN project focuses on renewable methanol which may be used as a fuel for heavy-duty road transport. For this purpose, it will develop breakthrough catalyst systems and new technologies for CO2 hydrogenation such as Magnetic Induction, Non-Thermal Plasma Induction, and Microwave technologies. Eight European and two Japanese organizations will receive a joint grant of EUR 4.9 million.
  • The 4AirCRAFT project responds to the urgent need for low or net-zero emission fuels in the growing market of air transportation. The project will develop next-generation catalysts for direct carbon dioxide (CO2) conversion into liquid fuels for aviation by combining three main reactions into one reactor. A consortium of seven European organizations and one Japanese organization will receive a joint grant of EUR 2.6 million. One Brazilian organization will join the team as well.
  • The ORACLE project aims at synthesizing renewable ammonia from nitrogen and water which may be used as a fuel in shipping. The project will develop electro-catalytic, plasma-aided electro-catalytic, and electrified thermal catalysis processes for ammonia synthesis and validate these processes for localized on-site ammonia production. A consortium of six European and two Japanese organizations will receive a joint grant of EUR 3.2 million.

This announcement opens the way to the 27th EU-Japan Summit and is a direct boost to the Strategic Partnership, including its shared ambitions for the green transition.

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