A new £12m investment in Wales’ ‘green’ economy was announced on Thursday 3 December by Welsh Government Finance and Government Business Minister, Jane Hutt.
Backed by £8m of EU funds, the BEACON+ project will see scientists from Aberystwyth, Bangor and Swansea Universities working with industry to develop renewable materials, fuels and chemicals.
The funding will enable specialists in bio-refining to develop research and product innovation with 100 small and medium sized businesses in North, West Wales and the South Wales valleys.
Bio-refining is the scientific process of transforming plants into valuable chemicals and commercial products such as cosmetics, fuels, pharmaceuticals, textiles and health products.
The project aims to create over 100 new products or processes in partnership with businesses over the next four years.
The investment allows the participating Universities to build on the success of the first BEACON project, which created closer links between Welsh academia and industry in the area of low-carbon technology, and won the EU’s prestigious RegioStars award for its contribution to sustainable growth.
The EU funds will be announced by the Finance Minister during an event at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea to mark the achievements of the 2014-2020 European programmes in Wales, which were launched one year ago.
Whilst in the area, the Minister visited Swansea University to meet those involved in the BEACON project and see first hand how the new funding will help build on the achievements it’s made so far.
Finance Minister said: Finance Minister, Jane Hutt, added:
“I’m very pleased that we’ve hit the ground running with the delivery of the new EU funding programmes, and it’s clear that people, businesses and communities are already feeling the benefits of substantial EU funds invested in Wales this year.”