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  Home Conferences Forum 8 - Rome 2007
The ILI umbrella programme
and other existing and new approaches in lignin research
at Villa Mondragone, Monte Porzio Catone (Rome)
jointly organised with ITALIC 4
The 8th International Forum of ILI will be the continuation of multiple activities in the field of lignin, that have been initiated, realised and coordinated by the International Lignin Institute (ILI) during the last years.
Since 2002, the thematic network EUROLIGNIN financed by the European Union, has been analysing existing and new research approaches in the lignin field. This network has brought about the creation of the umbrella programme within ILI, which includes analytical work, application research and further synergistic activities with other projects, for example in the field of biorefineries. The results of the research carried out in some of the projects being part of the ILI umbrella programme will be presented at the Rome Forum.

The mission of this umbrella programme is:

to promote exchanges between virtually all existing lignin projects. This goal is realized through official information exchange channels like newsletters, press releases, and publications, as well as through work on common themes such as analytical methods, solubility, toxicity, life cycle studies etc.
to improve the quality of new research proposals by encouraging exchanges between potential partners, collecting information to identify the most promising new research approaches and, last but not least, facilitating the emergence of new stakeholders in the lignin field.

Lignin research will face a major challenge in the next 5 to 10 years, which is to develop its budgets to a degree that corresponds, at least partially, to its importance in nature and to the importance of its technological potential.

To reach this target, the lignin field will have to move from traditional and ad hoc research, based on a few teams, mostly with wood and paper background, to a more modern highly interactional network, involving many interdisciplinary research teams based on material sciences and life sciences.

Successful implementation of such scenario will request:

great involvement in high added value topics, like nanosciences, smart polymers and topic related to life sciences;
the skillful integration of lignin research into biorefinery and bioenergy concepts;
creation of a new basic science for lignin with better defined lignins through improved separation, purification and functionalisation technologies, as well as a better understanding of lignins through the progress made in their analytical tools;
a dramatic reduction of the average time of penetration for new research results into the scientific network.
The aim of the 8th International Lignin Institute Forum is to provide information on the multiple approaches in lignin research, to present new ideas for local action in a global context, and finally, to widen the scope of the lignin research activities in the umbrella programme, to a more interdisciplinary approach and to research outside of the European Union.
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