Welcome to BEACON

The BEACON Biorefining Centre of Excellence is a partnership between Aberystwyth, Bangor and Swansea Universities, working in the field of conversion of biomass into biobased products.  Led by Aberystwyth University, it is backed with nearly £8 million from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

BEACON helps Welsh businesses develop new ways of converting feedstocks (e.g. rye grass, oats, miscanthus) and waste streams into products which have applications in the pharmaceutical, chemicals, fuel and cosmetic industries. Click here to see the companies and organisations in Wales across a range of different sectors with whom we have worked with since 2010.

 

BEACON will build on research already underway at Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) to produce fuels from energy crops such as high-sugar grasses like rye. It will also enable Swansea University to focus on developing their expertise in using bacteria and fungi to digest, or ferment, plant matter within the bio-refining process.

Bangor University will build on work to develop new materials from plants which can be used to develop innovative products, having recently discovered that compounds found in some local plants can be used to control problems like potato blight.

We are seeking to:

  • Establish links between the business community and academia within Wales
  • Develop new products and processes that will support economic growth
  • Create highly skilled jobs in the area of green biotech
  • Support inward investment
  • Promote science excellence from Wales

How can we help you?

BEACON offers businesses with interests in the biorefining sector access to the research, expertise and knowledge base of universities in Wales.
We can help:

  • Companies in the construction, packaging and manufacturing industries by developing new biocomposite materials
  • The bioscience industry – for example, developing new microbial or enzyme systems and technologies for the processing of biomass
  • The chemical industry by providing new sources of ‘green’ chemicals
  • Fuel producers by offering ‘green’ fuels, impacting on the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) and reducing carbon emissions
  • Rural communities by applying biorefinery technology to the processing of non-food crops

This encompasses a huge range of businesses in areas as diverse as: Agrochemicals, Bio Fuels, Coatings and Adhesives, Cosmetics and Personal, Essential Oils, Lubricants, Nutraceuticals, Pharmaceuticals, Speciality Polymers, Surfactants, Water and Effluent Treatment, for example.

The BEACON partners can undertake:

  • Formulation of new biocomposites
  • Extrusion / bioplastics
  • Novel chemistries / applications
  • Metabolic engineering of yeasts
  • Protein modelling such as new enzymes, e.g. for food industry or bioprocessing

Click here for information on BEACON Plus RD&I Scheme

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