Elspeth Bartlet – BioVale


What is your background and current job role?

After receiving my PhD from Imperial College and working in agricultural research, I moved to a career in science communication. I managed communications for a diverse group of science-based organisations including Rothamsted Research, the University of York’s Artemisia Research Project and the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine before joining BioVale in 2014.

What Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (IBBE) related projects are currently of interest to your organisation?

BioVale is a relatively new initiative to promote and develop innovation for the bioeconomy in the Yorkshire and Humber region. By bioeconomy we mean the production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food, feed, energy, chemicals and other materials. It encompasses both industrial biotechnology and agri-tech. The Yorkshire and Humber region has an outstanding complement of bio-based research, industry and agriculture. Our role is to both advance the sector and to establish the region’s reputation as an important hub for bioeconomy research and innovation.

We support and promote:

  • networking and dialogue
  • research, development and demonstration
  • regional bio-based supply chains
  • inward investment
  • trade/export

We are supported and steered by regional industry, research organisations, higher education and government.

What do you think the challenges related to IBBE in the next 1-5 years are?

We have identified the following barriers that threaten to prevent the region from successfully capitalising on the bioeconomy:

  • Regional bioeconomy assets are not fully integrated and the collaborations needed to build new supply chains are not in place.
  • The region lacks international recognition as an important centre for the bioeconomy.
  • There are skill shortages in the bioeconomy workforce.
  • Local companies are significantly underperforming in international trade and innovation.

We are working with regional, national and international partners to address these problems.

To get in touch with Elspeth, please email biovale@york.ac.uk


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