“EU funds supporting growth in green economy” says Finance Minister

Friday, 07th March 2014

“EU Funds are helping to support the low carbon economy and driving sustainable development,” Finance Minister Jane Hutt said today as she met businesses pioneering new ‘green’ products and services as part of an EU-backed project.

At a business breakfast held during UK Climate Week [3-9 March] and BioWales 2014, the £20m EU-backed BEACON project has been highlighting the work of companies and Universities in helping to establish Wales as a Biorefining Centre of Excellence. The aim is to reduce reliance on fossil fuels by developing new, sustainable products and services from plants using a process known as biorefining.
During the breakfast meeting the Minister launched a publication, ‘Progress through Partnership’, which highlights some of the innovative collaborations underway including, developing mushroom extract as a food supplement, using the properties from daffodils to treat Alzheimer’s and the identification of plant sugars for use in healthy living products.

Finance Minister Jane Hutt said: “Sustainable development is at the heart of Welsh Government. This is another example of how Wales benefits from vital EU funds which are helping to drive innovation in the low carbon economy, creating opportunities for sustainable growth and jobs in our region, and making a significant contribution to combating climate change.”

During the event, delegates also heard from Jonathan Hughes of Pennotec who has been involved in one such cutting-edge collaboration, fermenting grass sugars – a biorefining process - to help extract valuable components from waste crab shells that would usually go to landfill. These high value components can then be used for industrial and medical products.

Jonathan said: “Using grass-based biorefining process, we can provide a sustainable alternative to the traditional chemical extraction processes currently used abroad. It also opens up the possibility of establishing smaller, multi-product biorefineries in rural communities all around the UK and beyond.

“Our collaboration with BEACON is enabling us to successfully explore biorefining and attract finance and commercial interest to further develop this technology.”

BEACON Deputy Director Rob Elias said:  “The BEACON Project is an excellent example of how companies can tap into the research and innovation expertise through Aberystwyth, Bangor and Swansea Universities.  We can offer a service to help develop their products and fast track their technologies. Working with BEACON brings real advantages to companies developing green technologies in Wales.”

Other speakers at the breakfast event held in Cardiff Bay were Sir Roger Jones (Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Swansea University Council) and Kevin Stephens, Director of Agroceutical Products.

 

  

Finance Minister, Jane Hutt, with Jonathan Hughes of Pennotec and Kevin Stephens, Director of Agroceutical Products

"Cronfeydd yr UE yn cefnogi twf yr economi werdd" - Y Gweinidog Cyllid

“Mae Cronfeydd yr UE yn help i gefnogi’r economi rhad-ar-garbon ac yn gyrru datblygu cynaliadwy yn ei flaen.” Dyna ddywedodd Jane Hutt, y Gweinidog Cyllid heddiw, wrth iddi gyfarfod â busnesau sy’n torri cwys newydd mewn cynnyrch a gwasanaethau ‘gwyrdd’, fel rhan o brosiect sy’n cael cefnogaeth yr UE.

Mewn brecwast busnes a gynhaliwyd fel rhan o Wythnos Hinsawdd y DU [3-9 Mawrth] a BioCymru 2014, mae’r prosiect BEACON, prosiect sydd wedi cael  £20m gan yr UE, yn tynnu sylw at waith cwmnïau a Phrifysgolion wrth iddynt sefydlu Cymru fel Canolfan Rhagoriaeth Bioburo. Y bwriad yw lleihau ein dibyniaeth ar danwyddau ffosil trwy ddatblygu cynnyrch a gwasanaethau newydd o blanhigion. Proses a elwir yn bioburo yw hon.

Yn ystod y cyfarfod brecwast, fe lansiodd y Gweinidog gyhoeddiad, ‘Cynnydd drwy Bartneriaeth’. Mae hwn yn tynnu sylw at waith arloesol sy’n cael ei wneud ar y cyd ar hyn o bryd, gan gynnwys rhin madarch fel ychwanegyn bwyd, defnyddio rhinweddau Cennin Pedr i drin  clefyd Alzheimer ac adnabod siwgr planhigion i’w defnyddio mewn cynnyrch byw’n iach.

Dywedodd y Gweinidog Cyllid, Jane Hutt: “Mae datblygu cynaliadwy yn greiddiol i Lywodraeth Cymru. Dyma enghraifft arall o sut y mae Cymru’n gweld budd o arian hanfodol yr UE, sy’n help i ysgogi arloesi yn yr economi rhad-ar-garbon, gan greu cyfleoedd am dwf cynaliadwy yn ein rhanbarth heb sôn am wneud cyfraniad sylweddol yn y frwydr i atal newid yn yr hinsawdd.”

Yn ystod y digwyddiad, bu cynrychiolwyr yn clywed gan Jonathan Hughes o Pennotec sydd wedi bod yn cydweithio ar brosiect arloesol o’r math yma, eplesu siwgr gwair – proses bioburo – sy’n helpu i dynnu elfennau gwerthfawr o gregyn crancod wast, a fyddai fel arall yn mynd i’r safle tirlenwi. Mae’r elfennau gwerthfawr hyn yn gallu cael eu defnyddio mewn cynnyrch diwydiannol a meddygol.

Dywedodd Jonathan: “Mae defnyddio proses bioburo gwair yn rhoi opsiwn cynaliadwy i ni yn hytrach na’r prosesau o echdynnu cemegau a ddefnyddir dramor ar hyn o bryd. Mae hefyd yn rhoi’r opsiwn o agor canolfannau bioburo amlgynnyrch bychain mewn cymunedau cefn gwlad ledled y DU a thu hwnt.

“Mae cydweithio â BEACON yn ein galluogi i archwilio’r maes bioburo yn llwyddiannus, gan ddenu cyllid a diddordeb masnachol er mwyn datblygu rhagor o dechnoleg.”

Dywedodd Rob Elias, Dirprwy Gyfarwyddwr BEACON:  “Mae prosiect BEACON yn enghraifft wych o sut y mae cwmnïau yn gallu defnyddio arbenigedd ymchwil ac arloesi trwy Brifysgolion Bangor, Aberystwyth ac Abertawe. Gallwn gynnig gwasanaeth iddynt ddatblygu’u cynnyrch a rhoi eu technoleg ar y trywydd cyflym. Mae gweithio â BEACON yn dod a gwir fanteision i gwmnïau sy’n datblygu technoleg werdd yng Nghymru.”

Hefyd, roedd Syr Roger Jones (Dirprwy Ganghellor a Chadeirydd Cyngor Prifysgol Abertawe) a Kevin Stephens, Cyfarwyddwr Agroceutical Products yn siarad yn y brecwast a gynhaliwyd ym Mae Caerdydd.