Chief Science Adviser at York’s Biorenewables Development Centre

csa-visit-2016-for-webCHAIR Barry Dodd, CBE unveiled new technology for a visit by the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, senior government officials and business at the Biorenewables Development Centre in York.

It was part of a delegation of senior Government officials to the University of York subsidiary on Friday 09 September, to investigate how waste can be converted into valuable products to benefit the UK economy.

The Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Mark Walport; Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Professor Ian Boyd; and Mark Turner, of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) attended to explore how a waste-based bio-economy might help the UK thrive.

The delegation visited the BDC’s Research and Development facilities at York Science Park and Dunnington to meet clients, including local company, Wilson Bio-Chemical, who are working with the BDC to scale-up their technology for turning household waste into biofuels and high-value products. They also discussed research collaboration with GSK, and Veolia to convert food by-products into antibiotics. Our chair Barry Dodd CBE unveiled the new technology.

Sir Mark Walport said: “I am pleased that the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership, local authorities and public sector is coordinating industry and academia to help the area become a global leader in the bioeconomy.

“It is great to see first-hand how the chemistry and biology science base at the University of York is working with industry to solve some of the major challenges they face.

“Organisations like the Biorenewables Development Centre and their partners who are doing pioneering work to turn municipal waste into reusable products such as biofuels and chemicals will help make UK businesses more sustainable and more competitive.”

Chairman Barry Dodd said “With our area’s historical strengths in agriculture, food, and its excellent research assets, we have long prioritised the bioeconomy for our area’s economic growth.

Some great work is being carried by the BDC at the University of York and we very much welcome this new technology by Wilson Bio-Chemical – a great example of exactly the businesses we have here that are generating our area’s growth.

In light of this today, we announced a £10m Bioeconomy Growth Fund to help our businesses grow. “

The Green Investment Bank has estimated there could be an investment opportunity of £5 billion in the UK waste market by 2020. Organisations across Yorkshire are working together to make the most of this opportunity by turning unavoidable bio-wastes including, household and food processing waste into products, such as antibiotics, anti-fungal compounds, and biofuels.

Director of the BDC, Joe Ross, said: “We currently rely heavily on fossil resources, but these are finite and cannot meet the demand for future generations. The BDC focuses on harnessing developments in industrial biotechnology and green chemistry to support the transition to a low-carbon economy, which will ultimately replace oil refineries with biorefineries.”

The Steering Group for local innovation cluster, BioVale, which is composed of leading industries working in the bioeconomy as well as academics and policy makers, demonstrated how to add value to bio-waste and what the Government can do to help develop a waste-based bioeconomy.