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£12m EU backed bio-refining research and innovation project gets the ‘green’ light

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

A new £12 million investment in Wales’ ‘green’ economy will be announced today (Thursday 3 December) by Welsh Government Finance and Government Business Minister, Jane Hutt.
Wednesday 02 December 2015

Backed by £8 million of EU funds, the BEACON+ project will see scientists from Aberystwyth, Bangor and Swansea Universities working with industry to develop renewable materials, fuels and chemicals.

The funding will enable specialists in bio-refining to develop research and product innovation with 100 small and medium sized businesses in North, West Wales and the South Wales valleys.

Bio-refining is the scientific process of transforming plants into valuable chemicals and commercial products such as cosmetics, fuels, pharmaceuticals, textiles and health products.

The project aims to create over 100 new products or processes in partnership with businesses over the next four years.

Today’s investment allows the participating Universities to build on the success of the first BEACON project, which created closer links between Welsh academia and industry in the area of low-carbon technology, and won the EU’s prestigious RegioStars award for its contribution to sustainable growth.

The EU funds will be announced by the Finance Minister during an event at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea to mark the achievements of the 2014-2020 European programmes in Wales, which were launched one year ago.

Finance Minister said: Finance Minister, Jane Hutt, added:

“I’m very pleased that we’ve hit the ground running with the delivery of the new EU funding programmes, and it’s clear that people, businesses and communities are already feeling the benefits of substantial EU funds invested in Wales this year.”

Director of BEACON at Aberystwyth University, Professor Iain Donnison, said:

“BEACON is driven by the challenging targets for the adoption of green technologies and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that have been set by national governments and the European Union.

“Low carbon technologies including bio-refining and industrial biotechnology are seen as important growth sectors and will need sustainable supply chains that will generate economic activity and jobs, and it is these that provide the focus for the work being done in and for Wales at BEACON.”

Professor Julie Williams, Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales, said:

“EU programmes are playing an important role in supporting research and innovation, and helping to create scientific breakthroughs here in Wales.

“This is an excellent project that will build on the world-class research already taking place at Welsh universities, and create long-term benefits, both economically and environmentally.”

Whilst in the area, the Minister visited Swansea University to meet those involved in the BEACON project and see first hand how the new funding will help build on the achievements it’s made so far.



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Finance 02 December 2015 Economy Programme for Government - Growth Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales

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