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RISE to manage innovation cluster for fossil-free aviation

06 December 2018, 12:47

The Swedish Energy Agency has tasked RISE with managing an innovation cluster aimed at expediting the transition to fossil-free aviation fuel. The cluster will gather all of the stakeholders who are able to contribute to achieving fossil-free domestic flights by 2030 and fossil-free international flights originating from Sweden by 2045.

Earlier this year, the Swedish Government tasked the Swedish Energy Agency with making it more attractive to develop aviation biofuels from Swedish forestry raw materials, providing SEK 100 million for the purpose. This assignment included a call for funding to support research and development into sustainable aviation biofuels, as well as the establishment of an innovation cluster and preparation of a joint needs analysis to accelerate the transition to a fossil-free aviation sector.

After a decision by the Swedish Energy Agency, it is now clear that RISE will be managing the innovation cluster, which will be named Fossil-free Aviation 2045.

“Sweden has the potential to become a world leader in aviation biofuels. The obstacles standing between us and a more sustainable aviation sector are currently not primarily technical in nature. Rather, the challenge is to develop sustainable and attractive business models and services that make it appealing to invest in the production of aviation biofuels,” says RISE project manager Maria Fiskerud, who will be leading the cluster.

The cluster will engage regional authorities and industry representatives, as well as airports, airlines, biofuel manufacturers and business developers. SAS and Swedavia, both of whom have previously collaborated on projects with RISE, are founder members of the innovation cluster.

“We want to bring everyone with the goal of more sustainable aviation on board. This isn’t a one-man show; if we are to achieve a successful transition, we need to collaborate and pull together in the same direction,” says Maria Fiskerud.

“We are delighted by the funding allocation and the initiative, which demonstrates that the industry is taking the threat of climate change with the utmost seriousness. We will now continue our drive for a rapid transition. At Swedavia, we have worked for many years to promote the use of aviation biofuel, as well as to reduce the carbon footprint of our own organisation, with the aim of achieving zero fossil CO2 emissions by 2020,” says Lena Wennberg, sustainability and environmental manager at Swedavia.

“SAS has long been a driving force for the accelerated commercialisation of aviation biofuels. With this innovation cluster, we will be gathering those stakeholders who share our ambition of ensuring the availability of biofuels equivalent to all Swedish domestic flights and international flights of Swedish origin before the year 2050,” says Lars Andersen Resare, head of environment and CSR at SAS.

“We are delighted that the Swedish Energy Agency and the other involved parties have chosen to place their trust in us and we are convinced that RISE’s broad, interdisciplinary expertise will make a valuable contribution to the complex transition that lies ahead of us,” says Markus Norström, vice president for energy and bio-based economy at RISE.

For further information, please contact

Maria Fiskerud, project manager RISE: +46 (0)10 516 60 77, maria.fiskerud@ri.se