A world-leading scientific facility will be developed at Bangor University following a £5m EU funding boost, the Energy and Rural Affairs Secretary, Lesley Griffiths, has announced.
The funding will help create the Centre for Environmental Biotechnology, which will position the University at the cutting edge of research into how natural materials can be utilised within industrial products and processes.
The investment will enable the University to work on major research and development projects with global businesses in sectors including life sciences, pharmaceutical, energy and manufacturing.
The facility will provide state-of-the-art equipment and world-leading expertise for identifying and isolating enzymes in extremophiles. These are microorganisms that thrive in extreme conditions such as high temperature, salinity, or acidity. The enzymes can then be used to transform industrial processes in key sectors of the economy.
Speaking at an event in North Wales on Regional Investment in Wales after Brexit, Lesley Griffiths, said: “Supporting initiatives that further pioneering scientific research is a key aim of the Welsh Government. This investment will create a centre of excellence for ground-breaking research, encouraging inward investment and ensure Wales can take advantage of the economic impact that this rapidly expanding industrial area could bring.
“This is one of many examples of how EU funds are supporting our nation’s economy, supporting growth and jobs, and demonstrates the importance of Wales receiving replacement funding from the UK Government after we leave the EU.”
The Centre for Environmental Biotechnology will also include investment from Bangor University. It will be located on the Deiniol Road site and will form the first part of a planned major redevelopment of the University’s science and engineering area.
Co-leader Professor Peter Golyshin said: “These enzymes have wide application in many industrial processes such as in the pharmaceutical industry. The project will utilise state-of-the-art analytical equipment which will put North Wales at the forefront of developments in this exciting area of biotechnology.”
Refurbishment work to develop the centre will begin in mid February.