York, 5 July 2012. The Business Secretary Vince Cable today opened the Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC) at the University of York.
The BDC integrates modern genetics with green chemistry and processing techniques to create renewable chemicals and materials. It will support industry in developing manufacturing technologies that use plants, microbes and biowastes as the raw materials for high value products.
The open-access facilities bridge the gap between the laboratory and industry, providing companies and academia with a way to test, develop and scale up biorefining processes. The unique feature of the BDC is that it can also use molecular breeding to rapidly improve plants and microbes as raw materials for these processes. This creates the potential to source high value chemicals from plants by developing novel crops or improving those already in use.
Expansion of the Centre has been supported with £2.5 million from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
“This investment by BIS is a reflection of the facility’s national significance and unique capability,” explains the centre’s director Dr Joe Ross. “The Biorenewables Development Centre will greatly expand the opportunities for industry to source its raw materials from plants and microbes.”