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The Biorenewables Development Centre at York - one year on

02 July 2013

It’s now a year since the Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC) in York was formally opened by Business secretary, Vince Cable. A year on, and the Centre reports its progress.

Hemp oil
Hemp oil

During its first year the BDC at the University of York has helped around 50 local companies, in addition to businesses from as far afield as South Africa, Australia and Sweden, to explore novel business opportunities arising from the use of biorenewable raw materials from plants, microbes and waste.

These projects have included:

- Helping regional breweries to find profitable uses for spent grains, hops and yeast in the manufacture of flavours and fragrances.

- Developing improved strains of a fungus for converting industrial waste into high-value chemicals, in collaboration with Selby-based company Citration Technology Ltd. 

- Supporting a Leeds-based SME to improve one of their bio-based insect repellents.

Vince Cable (kneeling) with members of the BDC team at York at the official opening in July 2012
Vince Cable (kneeling) with members of the BDC team at York at the official opening in July 2012

-Assisting the University of York to spin out Starbon Ltd by optimising their process to produce significant quantities of their product.

Other milestones in the Centre's first year include an expansion of the BDC team to 21 professionals - including specialists from Madrid, Paris and London.

There has also been an improvement to, and extension of facilities, and the commissioning of new laboratory space and world-class processing, extraction and analytical equipment.

In the past year, the BDC has provided industry with access to over 100 scientists across the fields of chemistry and biology at the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP) and GCCE  at the University of York. 

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