SUNLIBB brings together key researchers and industrial innovators working to overcome technical barriers all along the pipeline for second generation bioethanol production. The range of research spans from feedstock improvement, through innovations in pretreatment and saccharification, the generation of added value products, especially from lignin, and innovations in fermentation. The project brings together world-leading scientists with innovative new industries working in the biorefinery and renewable products areas. Our work is focussed on C4 grasses as these encompass maize, miscanthus and sugarcane, and these closely related species are major bioenergy crops in Europe and Brazil. The programme of work aims to: (1) Improve the feedstock quality of lignocellulose in biofuels crops to allow truly cost-effective ethanol production; (2) add value to the overall process of conversion in biomass biorefining by upgrading residues and by-products and producing new value streams in addition to bioethanol; (3) improve the conversion process by which we produce sugars; (4) improve fermentation efficiency; (5) develop integrated processes that capture maximum value from lignocellulosic biomass; (6) ensure that the new processes developed fulfil sustainability requirements by reducing GHG emissions, cutting other forms of air pollution, have minimal impacts on local environments and biodiversity, build sustainable rural industries, and do not impact on food production and prices. Our cooperative partner in Brazil, CEProBIO, brings together almost all of the leading research centres for second generation bioethanol production in that nation, along with a number of key industrial partners. The cooperation between SUNLIBB and CEProBIO represents an opportunity to bring together some of the best researchers in our respective regions to work on a globally important issue.