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High-value chemicals extracted from plants and microbes are increasingly sought after by manufacturers from the personal care, food, drink and pharma sectors. Our region leads the way in natural product innovation.


Pioneering companies


The region is home to more than 450 chemical companies, including bio-based specialists such as Croda.

SCI Green Innovations

SCI Green Innovations uses supercritical fluids and super-heated water to extract valuable products from biomass.

Circa Group

Australian chemical manufacturer Circa Group has established a Yorkshire base to access local knowledge and expertise on bio-based solvents and chemicals.


Local start up SeaGrown is applying cross-sector expertise to grow seaweed commercially off the Yorkshire Coast for extraction of high-value chemicals and materials.


Keracol is a spin-out company from the University of Leeds that uses renewable and waste materials as feedstocks for extracts with applications in cosmetics, hair and skin care.

World-class research and development

Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence

The University of York’s Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence pioneers sustainable chemical research in fields such as alternative solvents and renewable materials.

The Biomass Biorefining Network

The Biomass Biorefining Network, led by the University of York, facilitates industry and academic collaboration aimed at the development of new and improved processes to convert non-food biomass into fuels, chemicals and materials.

Centre for Novel Agricultural Products

The Centre for Novel Agricultural Products at the University of York, uses fast-track molecular breeding to improve plant and microbial production of high-value chemicals.

High-Value Biorenewables Network

The High-Value Biorenewables Network, led by the University of York, works to promote the discovery, development and application of bio-based chemicals, tools and platform technologies.

Contact us to find out more about the region’s assets and expertise in this sector.