European Biogas Association launches scientific advisory council
March 31 marked the day of the official launch of the Scientific Advisory Council under the aegis of the European Biogas Association. With seven members on board, the SAC work will be dedicated to the promotion of the biogas sector by means of scientific evidence.
The idea to create a scientific board of advisors emerged during the preparation works for the Conference of European Biogas Association. Senior biogas experts joined efforts with EBA board members to define an outstanding conference program with high-level speakers. A mutual agreement from both sides fostered the decision to continue the cooperation beyond the realms of the Biogas Conference.
Within the new framework, the SAC was created with the objectives to provide scientific evidence to EBA position papers and other publications; to support EBA Board in evaluation of project proposals; and to advise on program of EBA workshops and conference. Additionally, the SAC members shall encourage other scientific partners (research institutes, universities) to join the SAC in order to increase exchange of experience and information in biogas research.
These activities will be coordinated by chairman and vice-chairman who have been elected for a period of 18 months. The recently nominated chairman is Erik Meers who is professor at the University of Ghent and coordinator at the Flemish Biogas Association, Biogas-E. The post of SAC vice-chairman will be held by Frank Scholwin who is honorary professor at the University of Rostock and CEO at the Institute for Biogas, Waste Management and Energy. Together they bring in a long-year expertise in the bioenergy scientific sector and possess an in-depth knowledge of environmental technologies. Their work in the SAC will be supported by:
- Bernard Drosg from BOKU University (Austria)
- Kornel L. Kovacs from the Hungarian Biogas Association and University of Szeged (Hungary)
- Bernd Krautkremer from Fraunhofer IWES (Germany)
-. Jan Liebetrau from DBFZ (Germany)
- Marco J.G. Linders from TNO (The Netherlands)
For the upcoming period, the SAC will concentrate its resources towards providing EBA with scientific data to its policy positions, which aim at providing the EU institutions with expertise and insights from the industry. Later on, other scientific projects are envisioned, among others, summer schools on biogas.
About the new cooperation with EBA and the formation of the SAC, Erik Meers expressed his enthusiasm, saying, “Biogas has a bright future within the framework of European renewable targets, but faces economic and technological challenges requiring innovative approaches. Biogas is one of those technologies in which policy, science and industry must find each other in a joint ambition for a more sustainable future.” He further encouraged scientific experts active in biogas to become a member of EBA and to join the work of SAC.