The BioMob (Biomass Mobilisation) project was launched in December 2009. It is led by Shannon Development in Ireland. The project will focus on developing research-driven clusters for biomass-mobilisation. Each region will focus on the gaps between the research demand of biomass mobilisation and the capabilities of the local RTD performers. The total budget for the project is approximately €1.11 million, which is funded by the EU's 7th Framework programme on Regions of Knowledge under the research area of enhancing the sustainable use of natural resources and of the natural and man-made environment in regions. The regions involved in the project are Ruse municipality in Bulgaria, Mid-West region in Ireland, Midtjylland in Denmark, and Eszak-Alfold in Hungary. The regions are represented by clusters consisting of universities, small and medium enterprises, and regional policy makers.
The overall concept of BioMob is the development of research-driven clusters for biomass-mobilisation. The project has a strong business focus and its ultimate goal is to see knowledge-based enterprises grow and thrive in the biomass sectors. This will support the sustainable use of biomass. At a time of intense demand for renewable energy, real possibilities exist for the transformation of regional economies through the commercialisation of applied research in the mobilisation of biomass. The challenge is to identify appropriate biomass synergies between regions, research themes and enterprise opportunity.
University of Limerick
There are active research groups in the University of Limerick with a focus on biomass, mainly The Carbolea Research Group. These include a successful industrial collaboration in the conversion of animal waste. Further industry sponsored research is being undertaken in the area of bio-refining from lignocellulosic feedstocks, including forestry residues. The study of soil and its management for the production of biofuel crops has been a focus of academic research for many years. Timber processing has also been the focus of some research.