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Bioniqs gives Whitehall inside track on SME challenges

A senior representative from the Department of Trade and Industry visited a York chemicals company to gather first-hand knowledge about the challenges facing small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Richard Carter, the head of the DTI Chemical Unit, toured the laboratories of Bioniqs at York Science Park on Wednesday 28 February.

The University of York spinout company, which is developing a new generation of solvents that are friendlier to the environment and safer to use, has already benefited from investment from the DTI-backed Viking Fund.

During his visit, Mr Carter will saw how the company designs and manufactures novel ionic liquids - salts that are molten at room temperature - which can be specifically tailored for biochemical systems.

They offer significant advantages over traditional solvents in manufacturing industries (chemical, pharmaceutical, paper and textile) with the advantages of being non-toxic, non-flammable and biodegradable.

Mr Carter was shown around the company's premises by Bioniqs CEO Dr Adam Walker and Commercial Director Dr Neil Sullivan.

Dr Walker said: 'We are sure that Richard Carter's visit gave him a real insight into the range of challenges facing small, but growing, companies such as ours in what is a fiercely competitive industry in the UK and beyond.'

'The growth and development of successful SMEs such as Bioniqs is critical to the success of the bioscience sector and we're really encouraged by the DTI's visit', says Steph Morris, Coordinator for Bioscience York, an industry-led cluster of organisations working in the biosciences, supporting innovation and business growth across York and North Yorkshire .

Notes to Editors:

  • Bioniqs Ltd was established by CNAP (Centre for Novel Agricultural Products) at the University of York with support from its commercialisation partners Amaethon and IP2IPO.

  • Ionic liquids have high solvation capacities for inorganic, organic and polymeric materials - certain ionic liquids can dissolve DNA, cellulose and even coal and rocks while still being compatible with glass, metal or plastic containers.

  • Ionic liquids, being designed and manufactured by Bioniqs, have hydromimetic (water-like) properties, permitting proteins, such as enzymes, to function in the near absence of water.

  • Ionic liquids also provide realistic alternatives to molecular organic solvents for numerous industrial applications, including solvent extraction, lubrication, hydraulic fluids and sensor technologies where their superior properties and benign characteristics are desirable.

  • The University of York has established an international reputation for the quality of its research. Each year, its academics produce a substantial body of the world's newest and best science and technology. The Government has identified the University of York 's academic excellence as a key driver of local, regional and national economic success. The University has a total of 10,700 students, 3,000 staff and more than 30 academic departments and research centres. More information on research at York is available at

  • Science City York is a successful partnership between the City of York Council , the University of York and private industry. It was created in 1998 to capitalise on the international research strengths of the University of York and other strengths of the city and sub-region to generate new high quality local business and employment opportunities The Science City York model has achieved high levels of business engagement to foster an environment in which creative, science and technology excellence can thrive. Science City York has a major track record of success with more than 240 science, technology and creative organisations already based in York and creating more than 2600 jobs and 60 companies in its first seven years. Its future vision, supported by Yorkshire Forward, is to create an additional 15,000 tec

    Publisher Contact Information:

    Bioniqs Ltd
    +44 (0)1904 561538

    Company profile of Bioniqs Ltd
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