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One-week biomass course being offered at UMM

Jim Barbour, scientist at the Morris biomass gasification facility

The University of Minnesota, Morris and its partners will deliver a one-week renewable energy short course for industry. The course runs May 18, 20, 21, and June 2, 3, 2010. The course focuses on biomass gasification technology and includes a rare opportunity for hands-on training with small-scale gasifiers.

The course, which typically would cost participants hundreds of dollars, is made possible by the Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace-Alliance for Talent Development (MNREM) initiative. Funds were received to expand curriculum in biomass gasification technology to a regional, industrial audience. The course capitalizes on Morris's ongoing biomass gasification curriculum development, which also includes an intensive three-week renewable energy with biomass gasification course offered during 2010 May session.

A technology growing across the country, biomass gasification produces heat and useful gases for small- and large-scale industrial applications. The course provides an overview of the science of biomass gasification, including practical and business considerations. Designed for an industrial audience, it will provide entrepreneurs and business participants practical experience for developing biomass gasification energy solutions.

The Morris campus will deliver the one-week biomass gasification curriculum through a unique partnership with University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center, USDA North Central Soil Conservation Research Lab, and Rural Minnesota Concentrated Employment Program. The course content was developed in consultation with Morris's industry partners Nova-Tech Engineering and Hammel, Green and Abrahamson, Inc.-Architects and Engineers. Their experience and expertise in biomass development ensures course objectives meet the needs of current and prospective employers.

MNREM is one of thirty-nine regional projects throughout the country funded through the United States Department of Labor Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) Initiative. The primary goal of the initiative is to achieve long-term sustainable economic vitality and compete in a global economy through the attraction, creation, and retention of an educated and skilled workforce. MNREM proposals were solicited from businesses and organizations in the 36-county MNREM region to present innovative concepts for addressing the talent development needs to transform the region from primarily agriculture-dependent to a knowledge and innovation-based economy capitalizing on the region's strength in agriculture and renewable/alternative energy.

For more information about the Morris one-week biomass gasification industry course, to request application materials or inquire about scholarships, contact Chlene Anderson at 320-589-6461, or visit the Web site.

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