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News

New research programme for non-food uses of crops and renewable materials

Defra : 05 May, 2006  (New Product)
A new LINK programme, which will provide grant-aid for research into non-food uses of crops and renewable materials, was launched today by Food and Farming Minister, Lord Bach.
A new LINK programme, which will provide grant-aid for research into non-food uses of crops and renewable materials, was launched today by Food and Farming Minister, Lord Bach.

Speaking at the National Non-Food Crop Centre's conference 'The Green Supply Chain 2005', Lord Bach said:

'From renewable fuels to starch based plastics, from bio-lubricants to plant based pharmaceuticals, the list of renewable products and their uses continues to grow. But, there are areas where the development of crop based products is at an earlier stage of evolution or has come up against barriers. Building a competitive new industry is a major undertaking. The three main challenges are:

to raise awareness and develop markets based on robust supply chains;
to pull innovation through to commercial application with crop based products competing effectively on cost as well as environmental grounds; and
to turn crops into products that industry wants to make, and that people want to buy.
'I am pleased to announce that Defra is today launching a new LINK programme in conjunction with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences research Council. This programme, devoted to renewable materials, will provide grant-aid to private sector-led collaborative research. This fulfils an action from our strategy for non-food crops and we hope interested parties will contact Defra with proposals.'

He reiterated the Government's commitment to the development of a competitive non-food crop sector. He congratulated NNFCC on their excellent progress with building links between agriculture, science and industry and their endeavours to develop the non-food crops supply chain.

He also presented the 2005 Home Grown Cereal Association 'What's the alternative?' Enterprise Awards. These awards recognise the achievements of successful companies in creating new and innovative demand for UK cereals and oilseeds in the non-food sector.
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