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About the Group

A Focus on Two-Way Communication

The outreach team for the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) will serve as a conduit between researchers and community stakeholders, helping to transfer the science and technology of biofuels and important co-products to communities in the Northwest.

“With a focus on two-way communication, we provide an important link to bring in and include communities and to develop appropriate and unique technology for each community,” said Vikram Yadama, assistant professor and extension specialist at Washington State University. “We are providing support and communication throughout the supply chain – from feedstock availability to production, logistics, and conversion.”

The outreach group will be working with other NARA research groups to determine regional landowners, the distribution of woody biomass and its availability. They will also be helping to characterize optimal species for aviation biofuels production and to determine available pre-treatment facilities and regional facilities that might be modified or re-purposed.

The group will be conducting traditional extension activities, including providing workshops, webinars, and newsletters, with the aim of helping communities throughout the Pacific Northwest determine how to build sustainable biofuels infrastructure and to move towards the establishment of a biofuels-based economy.

At the same time, NARA researchers will be forming regional alliances, identifying communities that might fit into the supply chain for a sustainable biofuels economy.

The researchers plan to identify a few communities in each of the four states in the NARA project (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana) for possible development of biorefineries. The researchers will conduct testing and in-depth surveys with the aim of establishing a rubric for identifying other possible sites. Eventually, they hope to identify sites in every state that might serve as biorefineries for aviation biofuels or co-products. Working with community stakeholders, the NARA researchers will develop a unique strategy for economic development. Community stakeholders will include representatives from a variety of groups, including community, environmental, non-profit, industry, and governmental groups.

“We will be working with communities to develop a unique strategy that they also support,” said Yadama. “Through mutual collaboration, we will develop something concrete that we then hope to commercialize.”

Providing information and exchange with key governmental and industry leaders and the public:

  • Establish a communications pipeline to inform policy makers who will be making future policies on bioenergy.
  • Communicate and exchange information with groups such as the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Northwest (SAFN)
  • Communicate with economic development groups in rural communities, tribal groups, and the general public

Helping to transfer science and technology of biofuels and co-products:

  • Professional conferences and workshops.
  • Field trips and facility demonstrations
  • Web-based newsletter, an e-commerce site, and webinars, in addition to the NARA website.
  • The NARA website will include information on technological, feedstock, business, economic, and environmental impacts. “The NARA website will serve as an unbiased clearing house for technological, feedstock, business, economic, and environmental impact information relevant to promoting, building, and sustaining Pacific Northwest biorefineries,” said Yadama.