YORK'S dedicated centre for biorenewable projects welcomes its 100th assignment as it launches the second phase of its £1 million capital grants scheme.

The first quarter of 2014 has seen the Bio Renewables Development Centre (BDC), based at York Science Park, take on its 100th project as it works with an artisan baker.

For its newest client, scientists at the centre are looking into the possible causes of early food spoilage in a bid to help the business void excess food waste.

Fabien Deswarte, Business Development Unit manager at the BDC, said: "We've also been exploring opportunities to add value to the main by-product of biogas production; improving the properties of a food product; exploring the use of micro-bubble technology and researching alternative ingredients for a range of bio-based personal care products.

"And as usual, our pelletisers have been busy producing pellets from all sorts of raw materials with different binders for a variety of energy and feed uses.

"Our clients currently make up a diverse array of companies, including personal care manufacturers, brewers, landscapers, vegetable oil producers, plant breeders, environmental technology businesses and many more."

The BDC, which has recently worked with York-based Maraid Design on an overhaul of its website, has launched the second phase of its Biorenewables Capital Grant Scheme (BCGS).

The first phase, which closed to entries in March, attracted nine applications from businesses looking to explore the commercial feasibility of bio-based projects, with the board due to meet next week to decide funding allocations.

The grants scheme is available to eligible SMEs to implement pilot-technologies in the biorenewables area and will provides 64 per cent of the funding, up to the value of £32,000, towards the purchase of capital equipment, with the additional 36per cent to be matched privately by the SME.

Available in three funding calls in 2014, the BCGS is a competitive grant scheme, which expects to fund about 26 projects, with a combined project value of £1 million.

The BCGS aims to support local businesses by providing access to technologies to convert plants, microbes and biowastes into profitable green products.

The deadline for expressions of interest for the second call of the BCGS is June 9. Further details are available at biorenewables. org/business/ funded-support