Our academic founders

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The BDC has developed from a unique partnership between two well-established research centres at the University of York: the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, led by Professor James Clark and the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products led by Professor Simon McQueen-Mason.

This partnership means that we can apply technologies derived from both biology and chemistry to optimise and process biorenewable raw materials for production of chemicals, materials and fuels.

  • Centre for Novel Agricultural Products

    cnap-logo

    The Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP) uses cutting edge scientific methods and knowledge to harness the power of nature for the development of new products and processes to address some of the major global challenges of the 21st century. CNAP has been using excellent, fundamental science to underpin industrial biotechnology for more than 15 years in projects that encompass plant and microbial sciences for the development of sustainable fuel, pharmaceutical and chemical industries, bioremediation and to enhance food security. CNAP provides a creative and enabling environment to around 80 staff and students led by five professors: Ian Bancroft, Neil Bruce, Rob Edwards, Ian Graham, and Simon McQueen-Mason (CNAP Director).

    CNAP was established in 1998 with a charitable endowment from the Garfield Weston Foundation. Research in CNAP is funded from a wide range of competitive sources including the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, US government, UK and international industries, and the European Commission. CNAP is part of the BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre (BSBEC), in which it is home to the BSBEC Marine Wood Borer Enzyme Programme and partner in the Cell Wall Lignin Programme. CNAP hosts two BBSRC Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy: the High Value Chemicals from Plants Network and the Plant Biomass Biorefinery Network (PBBNet).

    Centre for Novel Agricultural Products's website
  • Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence

    Green Chemistry

    Led by Professor James Clark, the GCCE is part of the Department of Chemistry at the University of York. The GCCE is made up of over 80 academic, research, technical and administrative support staff, along with visiting scientists from industry and overseas universities. The GCCE has won numerous awards for its research on aspects of green chemistry including the recent Green Gown Award for 2013.

    The centre publishes in excess of 40 papers a year and has an annual research income from industry, the EU including ERDF, UK Research Councils: EPSRC, BBSRC, and TSB of over £3M. Research is carried out over four Technology Platforms: Clean Synthesis, Microwave Chemistry, Natural Solvents, and Renewable Materials, who operate alongside a Training, Education and Networking Panel and are supported by a dedicated administration team and a technical team.

    The GCCE is the hub for a number of important networks that bring together academics, industrialists and other interested individuals and groups from around the world. The Green Chemistry Network (GCN) for instance was established by GCCE in 1998 and now operates as an independent charity dedicated to promoting green chemistry worldwide with 580 members worldwide.

    In the next phase of development, the GCCE will be re-housed in a new building on the Department of Chemistry site, completed in February 2014. The new centre includes larger, state-of-the-art laboratories and a new bespoke Industrial Engagement Facility, part-funded by the ERDF, with a capacity of over 100 personnel.

    Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence's website

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