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 £10.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

BEACON helps Welsh businesses develop new ways of converting feedstocks, such as rye grass, oats and miscanthus (Asian elephant grass) amongst others, and waste streams into products which have applications in the pharmaceutical, chemicals, fuel and cosmetic industries.


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

General Block Exemption Regulation - BEACON (2016-2019)