Well-attended opening of the Centre for Circular Bioeconomy

Tuesday 23 May marked the kick-off of a new strategic research centre that will be the first of a total of seven thematic research centres to be established at Science and Technology. The Centre for Circular Bioeconomy has the clear aim of ensuring synergy and interdisciplinary research projects in the area of bioeconomy, as well as strengthening collaboration with national and international companies and organisations working in the field of biobased economy.

2017.05.24 | Rasmus Rørbæk

“We’re right up front with the necessary development – the Central Denmark Region has been singled out as one of just eight European pioneer regions in bioeconomy. Today we’re starting a new chapter with this centre, which is based on research activities at Aarhus University. The aim is to gather everything on one platform and boost development. Congratulations to us all on the new Centre for Circular Bioeconomy,” said Rector Brian Bech Nielsen. (All photos: Lars Kruse, AU Communication)

“Today’s opening of the Centre for Circular Bioeconomy marks the beginning of a new strategic initiative for the faculty. The centre is actually the first of a total of seven interdisciplinary thematic centres that we’re establishing at Science and Technology with a view to achieving leading positions in Denmark and abroad regarding grand challenges and a number of growth technology areas,” said Dean Niels Chr. Nielsen.

“With this initiative, Aarhus University is taking an important step for Denmark’s international profile in this field, as well as sending a very strong signal to the business sector . We live in a global economy and there is competition in the field. To be a winner requires intense collaboration between disciplines and cutting across companies,” said Chairman of the Regional Council Bent Hansen (Danish Social Democrats).

The official opening took place with the help of hand-held clippers, where (from left) Harry Barraza (Arla Foods), Dean Niels Chr. Nielsen, Flemming Besenbacher (Danish Government Advisory Board for Circular Economy), Rector Brian Bech Nielsen, and Centre Director Uffe Jørgensen each cut the ribbon in the form of a tuft of grass. The Centre for Circular Bioeconomy was thereby declared open.

Following the cutting ceremony, there was a guided tour of a number of the facilities that will contribute to research. Here is one of the recent results from feeding experiments with green protein and pulp from grass and clover for cows, pigs and poultry, which could possibly create a basis for the feed products of the future.

“Smile!” There were plenty of opportunities to get up close.

Visitors could also get very close to the latest techniques in biorefinery.

The day concluded with a ‘circular meal’ consisting of sustainable ingredients.

“If we want everything to continue as it has until now – then everything has to be changed,” said Rector Brian Bech Nielsen in his welcoming speech at the opening of the new Centre for Circular Bioeconomy. The world is facing a number of global grand challenges, particularly regarding the establishment of a new biobased economy. There is therefore a need to develop society towards using more sustainable sources and ensuring better utilisation of the scarce resources. For this to eventuate, it is absolutely crucial to increase focus on basic research in this field.

Bioeconomy based on biological rather than fossil materials is an important part of circular economy, and this is where Aarhus University is in a particularly strong position with research expertise at Science and Technology.

With the establishment of the Centre for Circular Bioeconomy, Danish and international research projects can now focus on creating a solid basis for the sustainable economy of the future. The Centre for Circular Bioeconomy is a strategic research centre at Science and Technology. It is a research strategy with international impact, and the venture aims to ensure interdisciplinary research and the development of bioeconomical production systems and recycling concepts based on green crops, marine biomass, and agricultural and food sector residues, etc.

The centre was inaugurated on Tuesday 23 May at a well-attended event on campus in Foulum, where more than 130 visitors heard about the latest trends and forthcoming efforts in the work that is important for our access to sustainable resources in the future, as well as growth opportunities for industry via knowledge-based collaborative projects. The centre is also the first of a number of strategic research ventures to be set up at Science and Technology in the coming time. The centres are being established to ensure interdisciplinary research collaboration and cooperation with the business sector, municipalities and regions. The idea is that collaboration cutting across the faculty can significantly strengthen and highlight an area of research where there is not only considerable societal potential, but also an opportunity to build up a leading international activity with a large research volume and great societal impact.

“Today’s opening of the Centre for Circular Bioeconomy marks the beginning of a new strategic initiative for the faculty. The centre is actually the first of a total of seven interdisciplinary thematic centres that we’re establishing at Science and Technology with a view to achieving leading positions in Denmark and abroad regarding grand challenges and a number of growth technology areas. The aim is that Aarhus University can help to a greater extent than today to set the agenda for some of the greatest challenges facing us in Denmark and in a global context – challenges where the business sector is also involved – and create value for society.

It’s therefore an added pleasure to be able to present this centre as part of a larger strategic venture at Science and Technology. Via research in an international class of its own, the centre will provide the foundation for increased business collaboration, public sector consultancy, and involvement in international cooperation,” said Dean Niels Chr. Nielsen, Science and Technology.

See photos of the event here, and read much more about the centre’s prospects:

Centre for Circular Bioeconomy inaugurated at Aarhus University

We strew the streets with gold (in Danish only).

Staff, Science and Technology
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