Teesside University is taking part in a £5m project to develop the bioeconomy across the Tees Valley and Yorkshire and Humber regions.
The THYME project will build on the existing innovation in the region in a new collaboration between the universities of Teesside, York and Hull.
Those involved in the three-year project say the funding will boost the region’s economy, create jobs and deliver major environmental benefits.
The bioeconomy uses renewable, biological resources such as plants and wastes to create the greener products of the future – reducing our reliance on fossil resources and minimising waste.
Laura Woods, director of The Forge, Teesside University’s business hub, said: “This project will capitalise particularly on Teesside University expertise in bioscience and digital technologies, as well as our established track record for working with industry.
“The collaboration with other universities to develop this hugely important sector provides a strong innovation platform for the National Horizons Centre, and will deliver vital skills and knowledge to help grow the regional and national economy.”
The £22.3m research, training and teaching facility, due to be completed in 2019, will concentrate on developing the technical, innovation and management skills and knowledge needed for the bioscience sector.
The project is being led by the University of York and will be delivered in partnership with the Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC), as well as BioVale.
Professor Jon Timmis, pro-vice-chancellor for partnerships and knowledge exchange at the University of York, added: “This project builds on our world-leading expertise in the bioeconomy here at York and the wider region.
“The university is committed to being a key player in regional growth, and this project provides an excellent opportunity for the University to help deliver that commitment.”
A recent Science and Innovation Audit (SIA) of the Bioeconomy in the North of England revealed that there are over 16,000 bioeconomy related companies in the region, with a total annual turnover of over £91bn, employing around 415,000 people.
The bioeconomy is estimated to be worth £220bn GVA in the UK alone, and the government’s industrial strategy is setting ambitious targets to double its size by 2030.
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