EBI Personnel Directory Wright, Brian
This project assessed the intellectual property (IP) issues relevant to biofuels research beyond current ethanol production. The team looked at issues relevant to public/private sector research collaboration and commercial development, as well as the landscape for biofuels research, particularly lignocellulose production and conversion. They also surveyed scientists regarding the intellectual property protection of their research inputs and outputs, and will repeat the survey over years to capture evolving IP environment.
Recent developments in modeling and estimating markets for storable commodities makes it possible to begin to model the energy and biofuels markets as an increasingly integrated market. This project developed and validated a model based on sugarcane, a storable agricultural commodity with stochastic supply. The team also developed a simple stochastic model of energy markets (emphasizing transportation uses) and food markets, linked by the production of biofuels and allowing for the feedback of energy costs on agriculture. They integrated those models to assess various policy alternatives and to understand the influence of petroleum prices on the biofuels market.
This project addresses the economics of price volatility and commodity market behavior as they relate to the controversial issues of biofuels policies and food security. The team will estimate market behavior of a synthetic commodity, the global supply of calories from major grains, to account for interactions between the major grains in consumption and production. It willl also estimate trends due to productivity growth and technical change, along with estimation of storage behavior, in markets for major grains. This will integrate, for the first time, productivity-related innovations with the short-run behavior of these markets.