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Boeing & Embraer Brazil aviation biofuels research centre to open

Aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Embraer to open joint research centre in Brazil to address technology gaps and advance sustainable aviation biofuel industry

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Boeing said the research centre will aim to advance a sustainable industry for aviation biofuels in Brazil

Aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Embraer are to open a joint aviation biofuels research centre in Brazil. US aircraft firm Boeing and Brazil’s Embraer have announced they will open the research centre in city Sao Jose dos Campos to advance a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in the BRIC country.

The two companies will perform joint biofuel research, as well as fund and coordinate research with Brazilian universities and other institutions. Boeing said the research will focus on technologies that “address gaps in a supply chain for sustainable aviation biofuel in Brazil,” such as feedstock production and processing technologies. The biofuel research centre will be located in Sao Jose dos Campos Technology Park.

Julie Felgar, managing director of environmental strategy and integration at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said the research centre will make a “strong commitment” towards developing a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Brazil.

"Boeing is working aggressively around the world to expand the supply of sustainable aviation biofuel and reduce aviation's carbon emissions,” Felgar said. “With our joint biofuel research centre, Boeing and Embraer are making a strong commitment toward a successful, sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Brazil."

Mauro Kern, Embraer executive vice president of engineering and technology, said working with Boeing will help put the company at the “forefront” of aviation biofuels research.

Kern said: "Embraer is committed in supporting the development of sustainable biofuels for aviation and the joint efforts with Boeing will undoubtedly contribute to the company continuing to be in the forefront of research in this area. Brazil has tradition in the area of alternative fuels and enormous potential yet to be explored in bioenergy research."

Al Bryant, vice president, Boeing Research & Technology-Brazil, added: "Boeing and Embraer have a tremendous opportunity to work together to enhance Brazil's aviation biofuel capabilities, as well as the global industry's access to aviation biofuel."

Boeing, Embraer and the Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa of the State of Sao Paulo completed an action plan in 2013, Flightpath to Aviation Biofuels in Brazil, which identified gaps in a potential biofuel supply chain. Boeing said its joint research with Embraer will help address those gaps.

The news also follows Boeing teaming up with Brazilian airline GOL, with the aim to advance aviation biofuels in Brazil, in November 2013.