BioVale and CCUK: Working together towards a more sustainable cosmetics industry
At BioVale, we’re a small team and – to be effective – we have to look out for the most exciting opportunities for regional innovation in the bioeconomy. One of these is undoubtedly the cosmetics industry, which has several features that make it a great fit for us:
- Real industry appetite for novelty and innovation
- A consumer push for natural and sustainable ingredients
- A regulatory push for less toxic products and processes
- A focus on low volume/ high value ingredients
With this in mind, we’ve teamed up with the UK Cosmetics Cluster (CCUK) – another great Yorkshire-based cluster! Originally founded in the chemicals sector, CCUK has a national remit to connect companies in the cosmetics industry to support best practice, collaborations and solve challenges together. Working together, BioVale and CCUK are ideally placed to act as a bridge between the bioeconomy and the cosmetics industry: BioVale membership includes relevant technology providers, researchers and natural ingredient suppliers while CCUK membership includes cosmetics industry experts, suppliers, brands and manufacturers. By bringing these groups together we can help form partnerships and research consortia and facilitate the adoption of innovative new processes and the formation of new supply chains based on natural ingredients.
We first worked together at the CHEMUK Expo 2021, when we invited CCUK to talk at our keynote session ‘Transitioning to bio-based chemicals’ (alongside Circa, the Biorenewables Development Centre, and the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre). CCUK presented on consumer trends and sustainability in the biobased cosmetics sector giving case study examples of CCUK members and industry standards. The session was one of the most popular at the event (see picture).
Last month, we worked together again to co-deliver a networking event to build more sustainable supply chains for the UK cosmetics industry. This event (one of our first face-to face events post-pandemic) was held at the Bioeconomy Outreach Centre in Dunnington, York. Around 45 delegates included representatives from all along the value chain and the research/innovation cycle, including companies such as: Cosy Cottage Soap, Clariant, Bio-Sep and Beautiful Ethical. After a brief introduction from CCUK and BioVale, delegates participated in a facilitated speed networking session: four minutes of discussion and then a bell to indicate it was time to move along to the next new contact. This was followed by afternoon tea and more informal networking. Numerous new connections were made, with some conversations carrying on late into the afternoon.
The BioVale/CCUK partnership has proved to be one with real traction in a very specific, high-growth space and we look forward to more interactions with them in the future. It is one that really makes sense with benefits for members of both clusters and we look forward to working with CCUK again as we make our plans for ChemUK2022.
Jane Evison, Director of CCUK commented:
‘CCUK was delighted to collaborate with BioVale on our joint event on sustainable ingredients for the cosmetics industry on February 16. This was our first in-person event ever, due to the pandemic and I was very pleased that it was in my home county of Yorkshire! It was so good to see real people in the curated speed-dating activities, networking and creating business connections.’
One of the attendees, Cosy Cottage Soap, commented:
‘I was delighted to make some connections with organisations in the personal care industry who are developing innovative ways to drive sustainability into the way we work, the ingredients we use and the processes we operate. We are looking forward to working further with some great people and organisations with whom we connected this week.’
Another attendee, Miranda Lindsay-Fynn, Commercial Director at Bio-Sep commented:
‘Another fantastic in-person event…Many new connections made during an afternoon of speed dating and networking, discussing the natural ingredients and bio-based packaging that is being produced in the UK. I look forward to following up on some exciting collaboration ideas’
BioVale Cluster Manager