Pioneering a green revolution

The proposed devolution plans for York and North Yorkshire provide a once in a lifetime opportunity for green, inclusive economic growth – with a Chamber member, BioYorkshire, at the heart of the deal.

Led by the University of York in partnership with Askham Bryan College and Fera Science Ltd, the 10 year programme will harness the biotechnology expertise of its scientists and researchers as the launchpad for green, inclusive economic growth across the region.

BioYorkshire’s vision is to work with partners to produce renewable resources from biomass and organic waste and convert them into food, bio-based chemicals, materials, consumer products and green energy.

In addition, BioYorkshire will work with regional farmers and agricultural industries to drive innovation, while enabling more productive and sustainable crop production and land use.

The project aligns with the Government’s Bioeconomy Strategy and its commitment to ‘levelling up’ the north of England.  It will also contribute to York and North Yorkshire’s  ambition to become the UK’s first carbon negative region and create new, high-skilled jobs.

BioYorkshire plans include district hubs for enterprise development, bio-based research institutes with integrated demonstrator and scale-up facilities and programmes of training and skills co-developed with industry, all underpinned with bioeconomy networking and investment.

Professor Charlie Jeffery, Vice-Chancellor of the University of York, said: “The region’s plans around devolution place BioYorkshire at the heart of innovation in Yorkshire, which will not only benefit our communities and businesses as we recover from the pandemic, but facilitate inclusive economic growth for years to come.”

BioYorkshire aims to support more than 800 bioeconomy start-ups and spin outs by 2030, reduce CO2 emissions by 2.8 million tonnes and generate £5bn for the north of England by 2030.

BioYorkshire Director, Professor Ian Graham said: “Our research will offer innovative approaches to tackle industrial and societal challenges. We have an outstanding record of research to benefit society.”

Helen Simspon OBE, Chair of the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “BioYorkshire offers the region an opportunity to focus a devolution deal on innovation that can drive a greener, fairer and stronger economy.”

BioYorkshire requires Government funding but economic projections predict a massive return on this investment.  The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy estimates new products, services and exports associated with the bioeconomy could be worth an extra £220 billion a year to the UK by 2030.

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