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Autumn statement announcement: York to lead bioeconomy audit

Posted on 23 November 2016

The University of York has been asked by the government to lead a consortium of universities, research establishments, Local Enterprise Partnerships and industry to carry out a comprehensive audit of the bioeconomy of the North of England.

Researchers at York are a step closer to producing a biodegradable lubricant made from a new type of oilseed rape - one of many agri-tech projects conducted in the North.

‌The announcement was made in today’s Autumn Statement by Chancellor Philip Hammond.

York is leading one of eight consortia in the UK chosen by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to conduct a Science and Innovation Audit (SIA).

The Audit will provide key evidence for understanding the different strengths and opportunities of the agri-tech and industrial biotechnology sector, informing the development of policy and strategy.

The bioeconomy is currently estimated to contribute nearly £50 billion GVA to the northern economy, providing around 230,000 jobs.

Led by York’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Professor Deborah Smith and Director of Research and Enterprise, Dr Mark Mortimer, researchers, businesses and stakeholders will report on the scale, location and innovation needs of supply chains for the food, feed, chemicals and fuel markets.

Professor Koen Lamberts, the University of York’s Vice-Chancellor said: “The University of York has a proven track record in facilitating world-class research and innovation in the biorenewables sector. 

“It is vital we maximise the region’s potential as we look to deliver an integrated and innovative bio-economy, able to compete in the multi-trillion pound global market for sustainable food, feed, chemicals, and fuels.

"We believe the Audit will help accelerate economic output and employment across the region by increasing sustainability across multiple industry sectors."

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