New bioeconomy initiative to be launched in York

News | Posted on Thursday 11 October 2018

The University of York will launch a new global bioeconomy initiative, focused on solving major 21st century challenges, such as developing environmentally sustainable products and novel healthcare solutions.

BioYork has been established as a focus for bioeconomy activity in the North of England as part of an interdisciplinary approach to research into health, food and bio-based fuel and chemicals.

It aims to provide new ways for researchers and industry to come together to drive forward new technologies, services, and products that will create bio-based solutions to global resource depletion, population growth and climate change.

There are over 16,000 bioeconomy related companies in the North of England, with a total annual turnover of over £91 billion, employing around 415,000 people. The bioeconomy is estimated to be worth £220 billion in the UK alone, and the Government’s Industrial Strategy is setting ambitious targets to double its size by 2030.

Professor Ian Graham from the University of York’s Department of Biology has been appointed Director of the new initiative. He said: “BioYork brings together researchers and industry to translate and transform cutting edge research into technologies, processes and products across the bioeconomy.

“As part of this initiative, we aim to establish the BioYork Translational Hub, which will build on the work of the University’s Biorenewables Development Centre and BioVale.”

In partnership with industry, BioYork will create demonstrator facilities that provide businesses with the opportunity to test their technologies at multi-tonne scale.

The University of York’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Professor Deborah Smith, said: “The recent Science and Innovation Audit on the Bioeconomy in the North of England, led by the University of York, concluded that the region has the research and innovation capacity, as well as the industrial capability, to deliver a world-leading bioeconomy.

“BioYork will make significant contributions to making this vision a reality and in so doing help achieve an environmentally sustainable future.”