Regio Stars 2014

A prestigious European Commission RegioStars Award 2014 has been won by the BEACON Biorefining Centre of Excellence, an innovative Welsh research partnership dedicated to developing industrial products from plants to reduce reliance on fossil-based resources such as coal and gas.

Researchers at BEACON work with industry, including small and medium sized enterprises, to develop renewable materials, fuels and chemicals as well as modified and new environmental and economically sustainable processes.

Led by Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), BEACON was one of 4 projects to be shortlisted in the “Sustainable growth: Green growth and jobs through Bio-economy” category.

The other three were Ecoponto em casa from Portugal, ORGANEXT from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands and ARBOR which has partners from the UK, Ireland, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Belgium.

On receiving the award in Brussels alongside BEACON project’s Iain Donnison Welsh Government Finance Minister Jane Hutt said: “This is an excellent example of how EU projects are delivering in Wales through ground-breaking research and innovation which is helping to drive our economy and global competitiveness. This also demonstrates the importance of EU membership to Wales and the benefits of EU Funds to people across the region.”

The Regio Stars awards have been organised by the European Commission since 2008 with the objective of identifying good practices in regional development and highlight original and innovative projects which could be attractive and inspiring to other regions.

The RegioStars Awards Jury singled out 19 finalists from 80 projects supported by European Union Cohesion Policy funds on the basis of four key criteria: innovation, impact, sustainability and partnership.

The finalists came from regions and cities in 17 Member States: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.