We apply expertise and cutting-edge scientific methods to harness the power of nature in addressing some of the major global challenges of the 21st century.

Ranging from plant bioscience to industrial biotechnology and sustainable chemistry, our interdisciplinary research seeks to protect our fragile resources, deliver economic benefit and provide a more sustainable global future for generations to come.

We lead the N8 AgriFood Resilience Programme, in which the eight leading research-intensive universities in the North of England have pooled their resources to tackle threats to the global food supply chain.

The University works closely with businesses to solve their challenges and to scale-up basic science to processes and products used in industry. York is unique in the UK in its capability to scale-up experiments from bench-scale to hundreds of kilogrammes in its Biorenewables Development Centre and we collaborate with companies across the globe in bioeconomy research and development.

Major research centres

 BDC logo

is an open-access R&D centre working at the interface between academia and industry to develop, scale-up and help commercialise bio-based products and processes.

 N8 AgriFood logo

is an interdisciplinary research programme that combines world-leading crop and livestock research with extensive expertise in social sciences in a single research initiative. The programme is focused on ensuring the stability and integrity of national and global agri-food supply chains in the face of environmental and socioeconomic challenges.

CNAP uses cutting edge scientific methods and knowledge to harness the power of nature for the development of new products and processes to address some of the major global challenges of the 21st century.

 GCCE logo

GCCE is an internationally-leading academic facility for pioneering pure and applied green and sustainable chemical research through its technology platforms on microwave chemistry, alternative solvents, clean synthesis and renewable materials.

YESI logo

YESI is a pioneering interdisciplinary partnership spanning the social, physical and life sciences, focusing on three key research themes Sustainable Food, Resilient Ecosystems and Urban Living. YESI harnesses the talents of world class researchers to generate the evidence for sustainable solutions to global challenges.

Case Studies

Exploring new uses for oilseed rape

A team of York researchers is a step closer to producing a biodegradable lubricant made from a new type of oilseed rape.

Starch in energy storage

York scientists have teamed up with industry partners to turn renewable plant-based resources into a potential energy source.

From garbage to green fuel

Our researchers are working with industry on a pioneering project to convert household waste into fuel

Biorenewables revolution

Our pioneering research is helping local industries convert plants and biowastes into high value products.

The fuel potential of sugar cane

York experts are researching ways to convert woody plant material into environmentally-friendly biofuel.

Capturing carbon with spud peelings

Our green chemists have found that chemical compounds made from potato peelings could improve our air quality.