New funding for North of England’s bioeconomy

A new, £5 million project is set to develop the bioeconomy across Yorkshire, the Humber region and the Tees Valley in the north of England.

Dubbed the THYME (Teesside, Hull and York - Mobilising Bioeconomy Knowledge Exchange) project, the three year initiative is being led by the University of York. It’s aiming to ‘build on’ expertise and innovation in the region.

University of York will collaborating with Teeside University and the University of Hull on the project. It will be delivered in conjunction with the Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC), and BioVale.

“This project builds on our world-leading expertise in the bioeconomy here at York and the wider region,” said Professor Jon Timmis, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Partnerships and Knowledge Exchange at the University of York.

“The University is committed to being a key player in regional growth, and this project provides an excellent opportunity for the University to help deliver that commitment.”

BDC works with companies across the bioeconomy, including bioenergy companies, in developing research and development activities.

“There’s growing interest in shifting away from a traditional, linear, fossil-based economy that has, for example, littered the planet with plastics,” said BDC director Joe Ross.

“We believe that switching to a circular economy based on biorenewable materials will provide major benefits for the environment, for human health and for the economy – and that the North has the assets and the knowledge to lead the change.”


Developing Opportunities

A recent Science and Innovation Audit (SIA) of the Bioeconomy in the North of England, revealed there are over 16,000 bioeconomy related companies in the North of England, with a total annual turnover of over £91 billion, employing around 415,000 people, according to a statement from the University of York.

The bioeconomy is estimated to be worth £220 Billion GVA in the UK alone, and the government’s industrial strategy is setting ambitious targets to double its size by 2030.


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