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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number BB/K021591/1
Title Optimisation of Reed Canary Grass as a native European Energy Crop (ORNATE)
Status Completed
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Bio-Energy, Applications for heat and electricity) 60%;
Renewable Energy Sources(Bio-Energy, Production of other biomass-derived fuels (incl. Production from wastes)) 20%;
Renewable Energy Sources(Bio-Energy, Production of transport biofuels (incl. Production from wastes)) 20%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields BIOLOGICAL AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES (Biological Sciences) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 90%;
Other (Energy technology information dissemination) 10%;
Principal Investigator Dr IS (Iain ) Donnison
No email address given
Aberystwyth University
Award Type Research Grant
Funding Source BBSRC
Start Date 19 August 2013
End Date 18 August 2016
Duration 36 months
Total Grant Value £438,866
Industrial Sectors Transport Systems and Vehicles
Region Wales
Programme ERA-NET Bioenergy (ERANETBEN)
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr IS (Iain ) Donnison , IBERS, Aberystwyth University (99.998%)
  Other Investigator Dr K (Kerrie ) Farrar , IBERS, Aberystwyth University (0.001%)
Dr G (Gancho ) Slavov , IBERS, Aberystwyth University (0.001%)
Web Site
Objectives To ensure that the ORNATE project delivers impact we will:
1. Publish our research in the most appropriate (e.g. crop, plant and energy) peer-reviewed scientific journals and present it at scientific meetings.
2. Engage with researchers, plant breeders and farmers and end users through existing links and through trade publications and events.
3. Engage with schools, the wider public, and through environmental organisations in all participating partners' countries (e.g. in the UK with the National Trust, RSPB, National Botanic Garden and Countryside Commission for Wales (CCW)).
4. Train a cohort of researchers in plant breeding and bioenergy science.
For example under the headings of scientific, industry, and public engagement and training we will do the following:
Output Deliverables
- Web presence to include projects outline, reed canary grass factfile, references, links to/ from other relevant pages.
Scientific engagement
- Publish paper on genotype by environment effects on reed canary grass.
- Publication on the performance of reed canary grass populations.
- Publication on genetic map.
- Present findings at research conferences and particularly those which span the academic, industry and policy divide such as the World Biomass Conference and Expo.
Industry engagement
- Hold open days for farmers and other value chain participants at our institutes (at least one event in Sweden, Ireland and UK).
- Participate in agricultural shows and trade events (e.g. in the UK the Royal Welsh Show, the biggest agricultural show in Europe attracting 240,000 visitors and the Cereals event, a major farming technical event attracting 25,000 visitors).
- Engage the media at the start and during the project, including local and national press, radio and television (e.g. using contacts with BBC, we will invite the producers of the Countryfile programme, watched by over 14 million viewers weekly in the UK, to feature the project and highlight the anticipated environmental andeconomic benefits to stakeholders, especially those owning marginal lands).
- Publicise our research through bioenergy industry publications.
- Value chains report at end of project.
Public engagement
- Engage with local schools, and technical and agricultural colleges (e.g. in the UK during the National Science and Engineering week and via BBSRC schools regional champions).
- Hold open laboratory days.
- Participate in events such as the Fascination of Plants Day, launched in 2012 under the umbrella of the European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO).
- Participate in public forums such as science cafes.
- Engage the media as above.
- Organise training for staff on technical and transferable skills.
- Staff working on the project to be involved in engagement activities.
- Ensure that staff develop the multidisciplinary skills needed to conductbioe nergy research and play an active role in the future in the knowledge based bioeconomy.
Abstract The strategic demands for bioenergy require new energy crop varieties with stable high yields from low inputs, and harvestable biomass which can be converted with maximum efficiency. The ORNATE project proposes to establish the research, development and knowledge platforms necessary to develop reed canary grass as a crop to provide a sustainable bioenergy and industrial biotechnology feedstock in Europe. To achieve this we will use the four work packages in the ORNATE project to:
1) In WP1, establish a trial network including 10 varieties and ecotypes in Sweden, Ireland, UK and US. The plots in the trial network will be replicated and plants within them phenotyped over three growing seasons on a wide range of sites. This information will provide robust data for the modelling of reed canary grass performance.
2) In WP2, use of 50 existing segregating breeding populations and native accessions as a starting point for improvement. The crossing of reed canary grass genotypes and planting of progeny in Sweden, Ireland and UK for the evaluation of progeny and selection of genotypes for creation of new population based varieties for Europe.
3) In WP3, create a reed canary grass genetic map with a high density of molecular markers using a genotyping by sequencing approach. This will provide a means to understand the genome architecture and evolution in reed canary grass, in addition to creating a means to relate genes to biomass traits in the future.
4) In WP4 characterise commercialisation/ deployment traits and the defining of new value chains and markets for reed canary grass.The combination of field experimentation and powerful phenotyping (WP1) and genotyping studies (WP3) will enable us to understand the biological mechanisms of yield quantity, stability and quality underpinning the construction of new varieties (WP2), creating a step change in the optimisation of reed canary grass as a European energy crop fulfilling new target markets (WP4).
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 14/04/14