Biomass Connect

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Biomass crops are non-food plants cultivated for the purposes of energy production. Sometimes referred to as energy crops, they have a high potential energy content or calorific value. This project compares how well different crops and varieties grow in regions across the UK and demonstrates innovations which have the potential to maximise their economic and environmental benefits.

The Biomass Innovation and Information Platform is a demonstration and knowledge sharing initiative to showcase best practice and innovations in land-based biomass feedstock production.

The project has four primary aims:

  1. Independent information

    To provide robust, independent information on biomass feedstock performance, agronomy, economics and environmental benefits to landowners and land managers.

  2. Variations and efficacy

    To de-risk new crop adoption by ensuring that geographic variations in the efficacy of biomass feedstocks and relevant innovations are fully evaluated and demonstrated to a broad range of stakeholders across the UK.
  3. Knowledge

    To facilitate discussion and learning regarding the biomass sector by enabling the sharing of knowledge, experiences and case studies.
  4. Robust evidence

    To contribute to agricultural, environmental and bioenergy policy development by contributing robust evidence and facilitating interactions between policy, academia and industry.

Through the platform, the project is building a UK-wide, cohesive, regionally based community who will contribute to the development, establishment and operation of the platform. Building this focal point for the industry will support the ambitious scaling up of both the bioenergy industry itself and the scale of planting which is required to align with the Committee on Climate Change’s modelling for net zero, which anticipates expanding from 10,000 ha to 730,000 ha by 2050.


This project involves researchers and industry partners from UKCEH, Rothamsted Research, Aberystwyth University, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Crops for Energy, Newcastle University, NIAB and Bio-Global Industries.


The Biomass Feedstocks Innovation Programme is a £36 million programme, funded through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which aims to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative clean energy technologies and processes through the 2020s and 2030s.

More information

For more on NIAB's role in the project contact Joe Martlew or visit the Biomass Connect website