Progress through Partnership


A Selection of Industrial Companies Collaborating with BEACON

Our case studies provide an insight into the research and development activities and capabilities at our BEACON facilities, and how we have successfully collaborated with a number of companies across a broad range of industry sectors.


Aber Instruments

Founded in 1988, Aber Instruments (AI) was developed around the research activities of Aberystwyth University and the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), based in Machynlleth. AI devised and patented a radio-frequency impedance method to assess live biomass in fermentations through the measurement of the inherent capacitance of living cells (dielectric spectroscopy). In a matter of only three years, systems were sold to major biopharma and brewing companies. AI are currently the global leader in online biomass measurement.


Agroceutical Products

Agroceutical Products Limited (APL) was established in 2012 to commercialise over 8 years of research by Professor Trevor Walker and colleagues whose aims were to develop a cost-effective and scalable method of producing Galanthamine from daffodils. Galanthamine has been found to be effective in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, and has currently been approved in several countries for the symptomatic treatment of senile dementia. However a natural source of Galanthamine is not readily available on the market.


Axium Process

Axium Process specialises in the design, fabrication, testing and commissioning of customised manual and automatic membrane filtration systems. The company is also a specialist in the supply of custom built processing equipment, components, tube and pipe fittings that meet their customers individual requirements. Axium is committed to providing the best possible value for money in terms of design, fabrication, product quality and consistency, delivery and traceability. 


Clifford Jones Timber Group 

Clifford Jones Timber Group (CJ Timber) is the UK’s largest manufacturer of timber fence posts. Established in 1948, CJ Timber is a Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified company based at its eco-friendly 13 acre headquarters site in Ruthin, North Wales. They provide their customers with innovative, high quality timber products sourced from local sustainable forests, for an increasingly
wide range of end uses. These include fence posts, laminated timber for the construction and leisure industries, bedding for horses, cat litter, and a range of wood fuels - from dried logs and wood briquettes to wood pellets for biomass boilers.


Compton Group

Compton Group is the trading name of various companies under the control of the Swansea based Ballard Family. Starting as a house builder in the mid 1950’s the Group’s entrepreneurial business is based mainly around property development together with investment in renewable energy. Compton Group has also for a number of years invested in biotech research carried out at Welsh Universities. Here they aim to commercialise the output of successful research in the commercial exploitation of IP, typically through licence agreements after a patent application has been filed.


DTR Medical

Launched in 2005, DTR Medical is a successful medical device manufacturer, providing medical professionals with single-use sterile surgical instruments that deliver patient and clinical value. The company has operated for eight years and currently has more than 600 UK and international customers. The DTR Medical range includes many new sterile single-use surgical instruments for specialities including ENT, gynaecological, orthopaedic, vascular and general surgery and neurosurgical procedures. It also supplies a range of products for sterile services including sterile pre-cut silicone tubing. DTR
Medical continually expands its product range to meet new market demands.


Farmaceutical Innovations

Farmaceutical Innovations is a new business venture business based in Caergybi, Anglesey. A limited company formed in August 2011, they target three areas of the phytochemical sector including: process
development, supply, and toll extraction. Farmaceutical Innovations have undertaken studies in economic optimization and process improvements to enhance the environmental impact and overall economic performance of their business. They aim to provide their clients with the skills and resources required to rapidly improve their production line, adding value to the entire process.


Fruiting Bodies

Fruiting Bodies based in Bethlehem, Llandeilo is part of the Red Pig Farm group. Red Pig Farm have thirty hectares of land located on the western fringes of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Since 2004 the land has been developed to accommodate a unique cluster of rural businesses that would demonstrate the value of native broad leaved woodland in the UK. Fruiting Bodies has been developing simple mushroom extracts for over ten years. They grow a variety of mushrooms on hardwood logs and sawdust, which are then dried for harvest. The dried mushrooms are then slowly s immered in fi ltered w ater. The resulting broth is concentrated and added to organic grain alcohol. The final product is a tincture, which is used as a food supplement.


MDF Recovery

MDF Recovery is a technology developer, which is focused on developing a novel and proprietary process to recover fibre from waste Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF). Over 200,000 tons of MDF waste is generated in the UK alone, with it being incinerated or sent to landfill after a single user life. MDF Recovery aims to solve this problem through establishing the UK’s first commercial scale MDF recycling facility alongside the licensing of its technology worldwide. The fibres recovered from their novel process can then be re-integrated back into MDF production, or used as feedstock for a variety of high value industrial applications. MDF Recovery offer a better ecological solution for the disposal of MDF which generates a new source of raw materials for the wood and natural fibre industry, in turn reducing the demand on virgin fibre produced from standing forests.



Pennotec, a new venture established under Pennog Ltd, are industrial bio-technologists who aim to advise and provide technology to assist businesses and operators in the conversion of manufacturing waste into marketable resources. Waste biomass typically accumulates as a result of numerous manufacturing activities from a variety of industries including: agriculture; food & beverage; chemicals
& pharmaceuticals; and fuels & biofuels. Establishing new markets as an alternative to landfill and incineration disposal methods is a priority for Pennotec. Currently, Managing Director Dr Jonathan Hughes is focussing on the waste streams associated with crustacean meat processing.



PhytoQuest traces its history back to 1999 when Professor Robert Nash founded Molecular Nature Limited (MNL) a spin-off from the UK’s Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER). In 2006,
MNL was bought by Summit Plc., and in 2009 a MBO (Management Buyout) allowed for the formation of PhytoQuest Ltd. PhytoQuest has since developed scientific research to identify natural ingredients and compounds targeting high margin healthy living products emerging from the food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics sectors.


Plant Fibre Technology

Plant Fibre Technology (PFT), established in 2005 by company director Gary Newman, was launched with the aim to make natural insulation “the norm and not the exception”. PFT play a central and pioneering role in the development of new commercial opportunities and products made from plant fibres. PFT develops and market a range of construction products made from biomass. These include fibre based insulation, strawboard-chipboard and hemp particle board.


Spencer ECA

Established in 1991, initially trading as Spencer Environmental Care and Construction, Spencer ECA has evolved over the years to become one of the most respected operators in land maintenance and ground works sectors, building itself a reputation which has seen them working with many multinational companies. Spencer ECA currently operates from three strategically based locations within Wales: Llandysul, Newtown, and Swansea. Spencer ECA undertake a wide range of services including all aspects of construction industry support and environmental management, ranging from site clearance in advance building projects, to pipe and cable installations. Spencer ECA adopts rigid health and safety and environmental policies, minimising the risk to personnel and the effect of its ecological footprint.
Consequently, they use sustainable resources wherever possible.