BFN & Biotech Annecto Event Popup

My recent trip to Advanced Biofuel Symposium 2015  in Montreal exposed me to a variety of information regarding the developments in the Canadian biofuel sector. Indeed, I have been informed about various upcoming projects and the roadmap for the extension of BiofuelNet Canada’s activity period.

Such initiatives are much needed as they provide a platform for graduate students, people from the industry and academia to gauge the present standing of the Canadian biofuel sector and calibrate their strategy for short and long term. Besides that, such events provide a networking platform for HQPs; a workshop on “IMPROV-ing science communication”, held a day before the symposium, was the icing on the cake. It included several exercises, from inter-personal and inter-group non-verbal communication to role playing exercising, which implied switching between leader and follower role. Another important activity involved the training of HQPs in the commercial communication of scientific patents and ideas.

photo improv
The symposium included interesting sessions led by eminent personalities which shed light on “biofuels in a shifting energy landscape” – which was the theme of the symposium – and “Canada’s potential advantage in supplying the biofuel sector”. This was followed by a series of simultaneous separate sessions focusing on various aspects like commercialization of aviation biojet, feedstock, conversion and policy, respectively.

photo session best

Attending the biojet commercialization seminar, I participated in a discussion on the awaited biojet fuel commercialization and key obstacles in achieving it. It involved key personalities from academia, industry and government. An important discussion was held by the biojet taskforce to develop the framework for upcoming biofuelnet funding renewal. Efforts were made to pinpoint the key gaps in technology development and add them on to the focus areas of the biojet task force. Another interesting session focusing on policy enumerated various efforts in the Canadian biofuel sector and their dependence on the policy framework. For a HQP, it was a very enlightening session, especially in terms of policy direction and expected job growth. The day concluded with a spectacular dinner in old Montreal, close to the St.Lawrence shore, where some of us got a chance to interact with the speakers on a personal level.

The next day was characterized with separately held parallel detailed discussion on various technical challenges and breakthroughs at various junctions of the advanced biofuels supply chain. One of the sessions focused on the development of biofuel flexible gas turbines engines, which was received enthusiastically by the HQPs and industrial representatives. Also, it provided the HQPs a status check about the industry’s efforts in this domain, which would be useful in aligning one’s long term goals. An interesting discussion about the HQP perspective on advanced biofuel technology resonated with the various HQPs present there. A poster session highlighting the achievements of various research groups also accompanied the sessions simultaneously.

photo poster

Overall, for HQPs, this symposium provided useful training apart from the opportunity to network with industry and academia. I really applaud BiofuelNet Canada for its emphasis on HQP training and enrichment and look forward for future training activities for HQPs.


All pictures were taken from BioFuelNet Canada’s Facebook page.

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