Life Sciences Minister tours The Biorefinery Centre

23rd July 2014

George Freeman MP, Minister for Life Sciences, concluded a visit to the Norwich Research Park on 23rd July with a session at the Biorefinery Centre.

He engaged in state-of-the-art biomass-to-biofuel processing activities with an active demonstration of the steam explosion plant, and had discussions with industrial collaborators, Professor Jackie Hunter, CEO of BBSRC, and members of the Centre.

Professor Keith Waldron, director the Biorefinery Centre, explained how their work is looking for novel ways of turning wastes from the agri-food chain, such as straw and vegetable offcuts, into valuable products. The Minister ‘steam-exploded’ some material using the pilot facilities in the centre, which makes the material much more accessible for enzymes and yeasts.

George Freeman was visiting the Norwich Research Park to officially open the new £11.5M Centrum building. Centrum will help businesses to interact with the scientific expertise across the Norwich Research Park in areas such as food, health, energy and the environment. It forms part of the £26 million investment from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to develop a thriving research and innovation campus, supporting start-up, early-stage companies and attracting inward investment from multinational corporate organisations involved in science and technology.