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Ivana Amorim Dias wins the Brazilian stage of the 2022–2023 Blue Sky Young Researchers and Innovation Awards with a project on bio-oil

São Paulo, September 16, 2022 - Ivana Amorim Dias is the winner of the Brazilian stage of the 2022–2023 Blue Sky Young Researchers and Innovation Award, promoted by the International Council for Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) in partnership with the Brazilian Tree Industry (Ibá).

Ms. Dias holds an undergraduate degree in Forest Engineering from the Federal University of Reconcâvo da Bahia; she received a master's and is also pursuing her doctorate from the Federal University of Paraná. Her advisor for the project was Dr. Pedro Henrique Gonzalez de Cademartori; her winning project investigated the development of sustainable processes in partnership with Suzano as a way of obtaining high value-added products that transform wood waste through the thermal decomposition of biomass (rapid pyrolysis), and led to a bio-oil with many potential applications as well as high reactivity from its components.

This year's competition centered around the theme “Building a Lower Carbon Economy with Climate Positive Forestry and Forest Products.” The competition selects researchers under 30 years of age whose innovative projects that can contribute to the development of forest-based industry from the viewpoint of research and development, innovation, and process improvement throughout the production chain.

“I don't need to repeat Brazil's potential in this low-carbon economy. It is within our reach. When you young people accept this Blue Sky challenge, the task will get easier, more fun, and spread the message that we are taking up challenges,' said Horacio Lafer Piva, president of Ibá’s Deliberative Council.

Lauana Blenda Silva, of the Federal University of Viçosa, won second place. Advised by Dr. Laércio Jacovine and Dr. Angélica de Cássia Oliveira Carneiro, Ms. Silva's presentation addressed the system for calculating the carbon balance as well as technical and economic visibility in different scenarios of charcoal production. The third-place winner was Viccenzo Zanlorenzi of the startup PixLog, a mobile phone application that measures stacks of logs quickly, saving time and making log trading more transparent.

The judge's panel in the national stage included Professor Lígia Ferrari (IPT) and Professor Liniker Fernandes Da Silva (UFRB), ensuring greater representativeness and broadening Ibá's links with the Brazilian scientific community.

International stage
After the winners of the regional stages are selected, they will be recommended to move on to the international stage. During this phase, all the projects recommended by ICFPA members (currently 16, including Ibá), will be evaluated by an international panel of judges and the three finalists will present their projects at the ICFPA CEO Roundtable, which will be held during April-May 2023 (country to be defined).