27th EUBCE 2019 Conference General Chair, Prof. Maria da Graça Carvalho: Chair's Message

It is a great honour to welcome you to Lisbon!

Lisbon is a city of science, innovation and culture. Lisbon is the cosmopolitan and modernist city of Fernando Pessoa and Almada Negreiros!
The city where the first globalization movement started! The Portuguese gave “new worlds to the world” in the XV and XVI centuries and the Portuguese Discoveries have contributed in a decisive way to the development of modern science. What a fantastic location to have an open to the world Conference! We want to reach out to researchers, industrialists, policy makers and civil society from the rest of the world, with a special focus on Africa and Latin America, and exchange knowledge and experiences with them.

Portugal is a pioneer country in renewable energy. In March 2018, Portugal generated more renewable energy than it needed. Portugal has committed itself to being carbon neutral by 2050 and is aiming for 35% renewable energy by 2030. What an inspiring location for the 27th edition of the EUBCE!

EUBCE is the world leading event and the biggest conference in the Biomass area. Biomass is part of our low-carbon future. The use of biomass for production of power, heat, transportation fuels and materials is one of the most promising options to combat climate change. As of today, biomass is part of the only feasible scenario for delivering carbon-neutral solutions for aviation (long-haul flights), shipping and heavy road transport.

Biomass is also part of this fantastic transformation that the EU is leading, combating climate change and building an Energy Union that ensures that energy supply is safe, viable and accessible to all. New rules on renewables, energy efficiency and the governance of the Energy Union have been agreed by the European Parliament on 13th November 2018. This package will help Europe to sustain its world leadership in renewable energy. We will reach affordable, clean energy for all through strong investment in research, science and innovation, and deployment on industrial scale. That is why our EU Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020 devotes 60% of its 77 billion Euro to sustainable development and that climate-related expenditure should exceed 35% of the budget. And that is why the European Commission has proposed 100 billion Euro for the new (2021-2027) EU Research and Innovation Programme, Horizon Europe.

The upcoming conference will be a meeting place to discuss all these new developments. EUBCE 2019 is about promoting research and innovation in biomass, bioenergy and biomaterials from frontier research to assessing the challenges and successes of industrial applications. EUBCE 2019 is about research and innovation but it is also about science and scientific evidence in policy making in the field of biomass, bioenergy and biomaterials. The present edition of the EUBCE will pay particular attention to the issue of science-based policy making, discussing the best ways to use the most up-to-date scientific results in the policy making cycle and will assess the successes of industrial processes using biomass for energy and materials applications toward reaching the EU 2030 and Paris targets. Let us also not forget the special focus on Africa and Latin America in 2019.

For all these reasons, I am happy to invite you to the EUBCE 2019. I look forward to meeting you in Lisbon at the 27th European Biomass Conference & Exhibition from 27 – 30 May 2019. Let us move science, innovation and science-based policy making in the area of biomass and bioenergy for a bright and de-fossilized future!

Prof. Maria da Graça Carvalho 
European Commission
Directorate-General Research and Innovation
Member Scientific Advice Mechanism Unit
EUBCE Conference General Chair

Maria da Graça Carvalho is currently member of the Scientific Advice Mechanism Unit of the Directorate-General Research and Innovation of the European Commission. She was a senior advisor of Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation from November 2014 to December 2015. She was a member of the European Parliament in the EPP group since July 2009 to May 2014. In this capacity she was one of the rapporteurs of Horizon 2020. She was Principal Adviser of President of the European Commission in the areas of Science, Innovation, Energy, Environment and Climate Change from 2006 to 2009. She was Minister of Science and Higher Education of the XV Constitutional Government and Minister of Science, Innovation and Higher Education of the XVI Constitutional Government of Portugal. She is a Full Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico (University of Lisbon) and she has acquired 30 years of experience in research in the areas of energy, climate change and science, technology and innovation policy. She has published 130 articles in international scientific journals and more than 300 articles in books and conference proceedings. She is, herself, the author of 2 books and the editor of 15 books and special editions of international scientific journals in the field of energy.