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New £25M home for BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre programme

21 October 2011

The doors open today (Friday 21 October 2011) on a new multi million pound research facility for biofuels, brewing science and food and drink processing at The University of Nottingham. The new building will be home to one of the six BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre research programmes, set up to develop sustainable bioenergy fuels from industrial and agricultural waste materials.

Bioenergy and Brewing Science building. Image:BSBEC

Bioenergy and Brewing Science building.
Image: BSBEC

This building, which was partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), has been created to advance innovative and sustainable solutions for the benefit of industry.

The Bioenergy and Brewing Science Building on the University's Sutton Bonington Campus will also feature a new state of the art micro-brewery - small in comparison with SABMiller's new £2M pilot plant which is also housed in the building - but the biggest research facility of its kind in the country. The new food processing facility, equipped with everything from a bakery to the latest analytical equipment, will support the food industry in its quest to develop new products from conception to consumption.

Katherine Smart, Professor of Brewing Science, said: "The state of the art facilities housed in the new Bioenergy and Brewing Science Building will provide an excellent foundation for the development of innovative technologies for the global and regional brewing, food and bioenergy sectors. This would not have been possible without significant investment from the ERDF, SABMiller, BBSRC and the University for which I am very grateful."

The Food and Biofuel Innovation Centre is housed within the building and is open to businesses across the East Midlands. In particular, small and medium sized enterprises are being invited to make use of the expertise, technology and other facilities within the building to develop new products and improve their competitive edge.

Together with the Food and Drink iNnovation Network (iNET) scientists are already working with a Nottinghamshire cheese maker to examine what gives blue cheeses their distinctive taste, texture and smell. And the Derbyshire Brewers' Collective is hoping the University can find a way of tracking the thousands of beer casks that go missing every year.

The building is being officially opened by SABMiller Chief Executive Graham Mackay. There will be an address by The Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, Professor David Greenaway, and a response from Andrew Morgan Head of the ERDF East Midlands Programme Delivery Team.

Professor David Greenaway said: "The research, development and demonstration which will be carried out within this new building has the potential to be transformational and far-reaching on a local, national and international level.


About the ERDF

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programme which runs from 2007 to 2013, is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development.

The ERDF objectives for England are:

  • Promoting innovation and knowledge transfer
  • Stimulating enterprise and supporting successful business
  • Ensuring sustainable development, production and consumption
  • Building sustainable communities
  • Improving accessibility and connectivity (for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly only - as part of their Convergence Programme)

The East Midlands European Regional Development Fund Programme has been allocated €268M, which when combined with match funding, provides a programme value of approximately €537M - a significant investment in economic development of the area.

The Programme is delivered and overseen by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

The Food and Biofuel Innovation Centre Project is part-financed by the ERDF as project reference EMX05568.

For more information visit

About The University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as 'the embodiment of the modern international university', has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named 'Europe's greenest university' in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world's most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University's vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. For more details, visit:

More than 90% of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60% of all research defined as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power. The University's vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

More news from the University at:

For up to the minute media alerts follow University of Nottingham on Twitter at


BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by Government, and with an annual budget of around £445M, we support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

For more information about BBSRC, our science and our impact see: .
For more information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes see: .

External contact

Jeremy Avis

tel: 0115 95 16011

Lindsay Brooke, Media Relations Manager, The University of Nottingham

tel: 0115 9515751