The UK commitment to reach net zero by 2050 makes it imperative to move away from production of chemicals, material and transport fuels from fossil carbon and source these commodities from renewable, biobased feedstocks. The BEACON project is a  partnership between Aberystwyth, Bangor  and Swansea Universities and the University of South Wales, that provides a platform for collaboration between Welsh academia and biobased industry in the area of low carbon technologies. The project was part-funded through the European Regional Development fund from 2011-2023 through the Welsh Government. The specific aims are to promote expertise in scientific research and innovation and facilitate inward investment in these technologies, along with expansion of the scientific skill base.  BEACON partners have state-of-the-art resources and skills to develop novel biobased processes at pilot-scale and optimise existing processes using low carbon technologies. Areas of expertise include application of microbial, enzymatic and physicochemical tools to convert raw materials to a range of products such platform chemicals  and fuels in addition to value added co-products.

To date BEACON has:

  • Provided SMEs access pilot-scale facilities for pretreatment, porocessing (biocatalysis, fermentation) and downstream product recovery and purification.
  • Exploited expertise in biosciences; microbiology; chemistry; biocomposites and life cycle assessment at partner Universities to assist Welsh companies to develop innovative products, through biorefining routes focussing on renewability and reduced environmental footprint.
  • Worked with companies to create integrated supply chains including growers (farmers, horticulturalists), processors (chemical, packaging, materials, food and feed industries) and end users (retailers, consumers) forming a network across the supply chain.
  • Facilitated knowledge transfer between academia, industry and policy makers.
  • Expanded the knowledge based bio‐economy in Wales through the creation of new jobs in existing companies and in business start‐ups in cutting‐edge scientific areas within the biobased sector.
  • Supported collaborative research initiatives between HE institutions and firms, including financial support for collaborative projects and helping businesses to find the right partners
  • Supported generation of patentable technologies (IP)

For information email:

360º Virtual Walkthrough

Explore our facilities yourself with our 360º Virtual Walkthrough. Click the image below to get started.