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Articles / Biomass
Posted by gfoat on Mar 08, 2006 - 07:32 AM

The UK and Brazilian Governments have today agreed to work together to assess the potential for collaborating with southern Africa to sustainably expand its bio-ethanol industry as well as forging stronger links on science, technology and innovation.

The UK's Chief Scientific Adviser Sir David King and Brazilian Science and Technology Minister Sergio Rezende signed a Joint Action Plan on Science, Technology and Innovation, which will encourage greater collaboration between the two countries in areas of common interest, including climate change, agriculture and health.

The signing ceremony took place at Imperial House during the State visit to Britain by Brazil's President Lula.

"Science and technology are not only key to helping us retain our market edge in an increasingly competitive and globalised environment but will also play a major part in helping us find solutions to social, environmental and economic problems," Sir David said.

"This plan of action is an excellent opportunity for the UK and Brazil to make real gains on all fronts."

The three key planks of the action plan are:

  • proceeding with an analysis of the potential for expanding sugarcane and sustainable bio-ethanol production in southern Africa;

  • holding a "Brazil Day" for scientists from both countries to be hosted by the Royal Society in May; and

  • designating 2007 as a "UK: Brazil Year of Partnership in Science" in Brazil.

    Sir David said the UK and the rest of the world stood to learn from Brazil's expertise in the production and use of bio-ethanol.

    "The potential benefits from our work on assessing the potential to expand bio-ethanol production in southern Africa are huge, not just for the three partners but also for the world's environment," Sir David said.

    "The benefits for southern Africa include job creation, income generation and empowerment.

    "In addition, increased bio-ethanol production in southern Africa will result in less pressure on Brazil's domestic sugarcane resources at a time of high demand.

    "The UK would also be helping to develop an environmentally and socially sustainable bio-ethanol supply and improve the security of supply to the UK bio-fuel market."

    Sir David said the Royal Society would be hosting Brazil Day on May 22, when scientists and officials from both countries would meet to establish their priorities and opportunities for collaboration.

    The Year of Science in Brazil would involve holding a series of events showcasing British science and innovation.

    Department of Trade and Industry

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