• BF2RA – Targeted call for proposals 2019

    Date posted:

    • Post Author

      Lucy Straker

      IFRF Administration & Communication Coordinator

BF2RA (The Biomass and Fossil Fuel Research Alliance) operates a programme to support research into the clean and efficient use of biomass and fossil fuels, to build capacity in this area. Proposals are invited for specific research relating to the following:

  • Plant Flexibility
  • Biomass including Energy Integration/Storage and CC(U)S
  • Condition-Based Monitoring/Asset Management and Prediction Tools
  • Energy Transition
  • Materials Challenges

Details of these research topics are presented later in this article together with outlines for two specific projects.

Please note that BF2RA is continuing with single stage project recruitment resulting in a quicker process as described later. Specific conditions will be applied to funded proposals.

Globally fossil fuels will remain our most important fuel source for the next few decades. This is primarily for power generation, other conversion processes (such as the metallurgical industry) and general industrial application. In the UK, fossil fuels will remain an important fuel source until the mid-21st century although coal use for power generation will essentially disappear by the middle of the next decade.

There are many facets of fossil fuel and biomass R&D which still need to be undertaken, including managing large scale assets and improving operational flexibility. This will enable the residual use of fossil fuel and especially coal to be optimised.

The energy landscape continues to evolve and will transform the global energy sector from fossil fuel-based towards zero-carbon in the medium term. At its heart is the need to reduce energy-related CO2 emissions to limit climate change.

The energy transition requires the increased deployment of renewable energy sources, energy efficiency measures, energy storage and decentralisation of power generation and electricity and heat grids. The energy transition will be enabled by information technology (including simulation, data analysis and control system development), smart technology, policy frameworks and market instruments.

The research areas identified within this Call aim to align with the foci of the energy related CDTs that will launch in 2019. Within the new CDTs, BF2RA envisages increased interest in renewable energy integration including energy storage, the use of low carbon biomass and wastes, decarbonisation of gas fired systems, the emergence of bio-energy and the implementation of CCUS. Additionally we see the need for increased automation and smart control.

A further benefit of BF2RA research is to provide a new generation of engineers, scientists and technologists. They will be enabled to build capacity both in fossil fuel and biomass related core skills to meet needs in the short to medium term and also those skills to meet longer term energy transition requirements.

Funding available
BF2RA will provide funding of typically £25-40k per successful application to support PhD/EngD research or in well justified cases, shorter term (ca. 6 month) research fellowship based projects may be considered at £10-20k. It is envisaged that the University will provide the matching funding from CDT, Research Council or other funding sources as is appropriate/necessary.

Full details of the research topics and project outlines against which proposals are invited can be found in the full call document available at the end of this article.

Call Process and Schedule

  • Call Issued – 14/12/2018
  • Deadline for submission of Proposals – 1700hrs GMT 28/02/2019
  • BF2RA Panel review Proposals – week beginning Monday 01/04/2019
  • Advise outcomes, week beginning Monday 15/04/2019 and initiate student selection and contracting process in preparation for autumn 2019 project starts.

Proposals should be submitted electronically to technical@bf2ra.org by the deadline indicated above.

Proposals must not exceed three pages (minimum font size 10). Further they should include full contact details (email address and telephone number) of the lead proposer/institution. Proposals should reflect accurately the research specification and detail the intended methodology. Proposals should state the funding requested and the full cost of the research together with a summary cost breakdown. Proposals should also confirm the availability of top-up funding should BF2RA offer a grant.

Proposals will be assessed against the following primary criteria (in no particular order of priority):

  • Understanding of BF2RA‟s research areas and their relevance
  • Quality of the research proposed
  • Relevant skills and expertise
  • Demonstration that effective management arrangements and planning are in place
  • Industrial relevance, potential for impact and how benefits can be realised e.g. by deployment of models, etc. generated by the research
  • Cost and value for money