Belfast Telegraph

£1m grant for Almac project on pesticide

By Clare Weir

Northern Ireland pharma firm Almac is using part of a £1m grant to develop "green chemicals".

A unit of the Craigavon-based firm will work with Bangor University in Wales and Hockley International, a manufacturer and exporter of environmental health and industrial chemical products in Manchester, on the project.

A grant of £1m has been awarded to the research team by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and Technology Strategy Board.

The three-year project aims to develop the technology for an organic natural-based pesticide for use in the agriculture industry as well as by people growing their own food.

The project is one of 15 agri-tech projects across the UK which have been awarded a share of £18m funding from government and industry to help accelerate agricultural innovation.

The EU has targets for reducing the use of synthetic pesticides and it is hoped that the products could be exported to help meet those as well as protecting the food chain.

Professor Tom Moody, head of biocatalysis and isotope chemistry at Almac, said that collaboration in this type of research was vital.

"Our expert team of scientists are excited to work on this project as we recognise the opportunity for researchers across industry and academia to work more closely together, sharing skills and knowledge to deliver truly excellent research that can make an impact not just on this project but also the UK," he said.

Belfast Telegraph