Welcome to the first edition of Biofutures Queensland's newsletter. This publication will keep you up to date on all things biofutures happening in Queensland—Australia's emerging hub for industrial biotech and bioproducts—from the latest news to biofutures opportunities for you and your business.
2016 was a great year for the industry here in Queensland, with exciting projects making progress and the government's identification of biofutures as a priority industry for our state's future. In this newsletter we take stock of some of 2016's big stories and look forward to some early developments in 2017 that will offer considerable opportunity as the year progresses:
- Biofutures Industry Forum 2016: Queensland Government and US Navy partner to set the course for biofutures
- Support from lab bench to biorefinery: Queensland Government support programs for biofutures projects
- Funding for biofutures researchers: Advance Queensland Research Fellowships
- Providing certainty for biofuels: kicking off the Queensland biofuel mandate
- Southern Oil hits another milestone: lab opening provides local biocrude testing
- Welcoming Amyris: why the international bioproduct leader has chosen Queensland
Biofutures Queensland ended 2016 on a high point, partnering with the US Navy to deliver Queensland's first Biofutures Industry Forum. The two-day event saw the eyes of the industry worldwide turn to Brisbane as representatives from across Queensland's biofutures supply chain came together with national and international experts to identify the challenges, opportunities and next steps for the industry in Queensland.
The Forum has already received overwhelmingly positive feedback from participants, and the lessons learned will inform the growth of the industry for years to come.
Visit Biofutures Queensland online to find out more about the Biofutures Industry Forum.
With the announcement of the Biofutures Commercialisation Program in December 2016 the state government now offers a full suite of programs to support biofutures projects in Queensland. Whether you're a researcher looking to commercialise, a large player looking for a site for a new biorefinery or somewhere in between, we have a program to help you.
The Biofutures Commercialisation Program (BCP) will support bioindustrial experts to partner with Queensland researchers and businesses to scale-up and test new or improved technologies and processes at the pilot or demonstration scale. The guidelines have just been released, so take the time to review them before Expression of Interest applications open in late January 2017.
Find more information about the Biofutures Commercialisation Program.
Closing a gap in the funding and investment cycle for biofutures projects is the Biofutures Industry Development Fund (BIDF). Well advanced projects needing additional funding to reach bankable feasibility and achieve financial close can benefit from a loan of up to $2.5 million from the repayable fund.
Get more information and find out how to submit an application to the Biofutures Industry Development Fund.
In order to attract and accelerate the development of one or more commercial-scale biorefinery projects in Queensland, the government is seeking Expressions of Interest in the Biofutures Acceleration Program (BAP). The Queensland Government is prepared to consider a wide range of support, from facilitating approvals and land tenure to financial assistance, to attract suitable companies.
The Biofutures Acceleration Program EOI closes on 18 January 2017, so time is running out to make a submission. Find all the details.
Are you a qualified PhD researcher engaged in biofutures research that benefits the industry here in Queensland?
You may be eligible for a research fellowship of between $180,000 and $300,000 through Advance Queensland. To be eligible, your research proposal must address one of Queensland's science and research priorities and align with the vision and strategies of a Queensland Government Industry Roadmap area, such as the Queensland Biofutures 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan ( 2.6 MB).
Applications close 6 February 2017 via the Advance Queensland website. Find out more to make your application.
The Queensland biofuels mandate commenced on 1 January 2017. The mandate will help the Queensland biofuels and bio-manufacturing industries to invest, innovate and create jobs in regional Queensland. Liable Queensland fuel sellers are now required to sell a minimum amount of biobased petrol (3% of total regular unleaded petrol must be ethanol), such as E10, and biobased diesel (0.5%).
The Queensland Government is leading by example with its fleet of vehicles fuelling up with E10 where practical to help boost the Queensland biofuels industry.
To support the introduction of the mandate, the government has also implemented an E10 OK consumer education campaign to help Queensland drivers better understand their fuel choices. The E10 OK campaign encourages consumers to check if their vehicle is E10 compatible, and then provides information on the availability of E10 in their area. Visit the E10 OK website for more information.
Southern Oil's Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant in Gladstone is making strong progress with the opening of its lab in December 2016. With the lab open, researchers will be able to test biocrude on Australian shores for the first time. This development will make testing faster and more cost-effective for the industry across Australia, and further cements Queensland's reputation as a bioproduct leader.
The Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant aims to produce one million litres of fuel for use in defence, heavy transport and aviation, with a view to expanding to full commercial-scale production in the future. Read more about the Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant.
In December 2016, Californian industrial biotech leader Amyris announced that they would become the latest major biofutures company to develop a presence in Queensland. Amyris plans to develop a major production hub to supply Asian markets.
John Melo, Amyris President and CEO, said, “We're delighted to be working with Queensland to facilitate the creation of what we expect will be a leading Industrial Biotechnology hub supplying growing demand in Southeast Asia. We're very encouraged at the commitment to innovation and sustainability demonstrated by the Government of Queensland. The sustainability and performance of the local sugarcane industry enables us to make this our second global technology and manufacturing center, beyond our strong base in Brazil.”
Read more about Amyris's decision to come to Queensland in their press release.