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  • Writer's pictureBioYorkshire

Event: BioYorkshire – Activating the Bioeconomy

Updated: Feb 20

On the 13th of September we held on campus at the University of York called ‘BioYorkshire – Activating the Bioeconomy’.



BioYorkshire is a bold strategic initiative which aims to grow and develop the wider bioeconomy sector in York and North Yorkshire. It is a partnership between three core partners, all with deep roots in the region – the University of York, Fera Science, and Askham Bryan College. Its ambition is to build on the existing strengths of the regional bioeconomy, to develop and scale the sector for the future.



The event was an opportunity for delegates to learn more about BioYorkshire and how to engage with it, as well as hearing updates from companies working in the bioeconomy, and network with colleagues. It was extremely well attended, with over 100 delegates registered.


The event started with an overview of the BioYorkshire ambition from Steve Bagshaw, CBE. Steve currently Chairs the BioYorkshire Industrial Advisory Group and has over 35 years’ experience across the biotechnology and fine chemicals business and manufacturing sectors. This was followed by a series of short presentations from companies working in the bioeconomy – Sarah Davidson, Technology Development Lead at Croda, Susan Brench, Director, Akemi Associates Ltd, Jack Barber, Managing Director, Nature’s Laboratory and Maria Garcia, CEO, Bind Ethics Ltd. All of these companies are members of BioVale and have engaged with us in various ways over the years. This session was chaired by Sue Jefferson, Chair of the LEP Business Board.


Jack Barber, Managing Director at Nature’s Laboratory said; ”We are evolving quickly which means researching, developing and manufacturing innovative natural medicines and exploring new ways of working. I was delighted to be able to share the spotlight this afternoon with the other innovative businesses and BioYorkshire partners. Yorkshire has a big part to play in developing a sustainable future – a future which will no doubt be built on many small but important contributions from a wide range of organisations across all sectors.”



There then followed a session of short talks to introduce the partnership and how to engage with it. Speakers included, Professor Ian Graham, Weston Chair of Biochemical Genetics, BioYorkshire Academic Director, University of York, Adrian Charlton, Principal Scientist, Fera Science Ltd, Tim Whitaker, CEO and Principal, Askham Bryan College and Tracey Taylor-Preston, Sector Development Relationship Manager, York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.


Also speaking were our colleagues from the Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC); Deborah Rathbone, Bioscience Innovation Team Leader and Darren Phillips, Senior Process Technologist who explained more about the ways you can work with the BDC to scale up and innovate your greener products and processes for the marketplace. Again it was fantastic to see that the BDC has supported all the companies that gave presentations.


All the talks demonstrated that there is a critical mass of activity across the whole region which strategic investment can accelerate.


The afternoon was rounded off with a networking session where we had the opportunity to catch up with other delegates over coffee and biscuits. It was great to have the chance to talk to so many familiar faces and meet some new contacts.


If you would like to get involved in the BioYorkshire initiative, follow the hashtag #BioYorkshire on social media or drop us a message.

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