April 2019

Tuesday, 30/04/2019
Ben Jones

As construction work on the Seed Biobank and Biorefining Centre nears completion, a lot of the project team’s work this month has been focused on procuring the equipment for the new buildings and on planning the decant of equipment from the University’s existing buildings into the new Innovation and Enterprise Campus buildings.

That said, construction work on site has been far from quiet: as work on the interiors of the Seed Biobank and Biorefining Centre has continued apace, the foundations for the second phase of the build have seen marked progress. The photos below show the steelwork being installed, ready for the concrete pour that will form the foundations for the Future Food Centre, the Advanced Analysis Centre, and the Innovation Hub.

One of the major procurements of this year will be a Seed Cleaning Unit that will sit in this seed preparation room within the Seed Biobank. Here, seed samples of a range of sizes will be prepared, cleaned from weeds and other contaminants to high standards of purity and germination in line with the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA). At 6.1m in height, this will occupy space from the floor right up to the ceiling and indeed, the Seed Biobank itself has been designed in large part around the specifications of this piece of equipment.

Staying on the theme of the Seed Biobank, these photos show the Biobank itself: a fully documented, publicly accessible ex-situ plant genetic resource. The Seed Biobank facility will specialise in curating accessions of temperate grass and legume species held in medium and long-term storage under controlled environmental conditions. The transporting of the University’s genetic resources into the new Biobank is due to take place between 24 May and 4 June.

In other procurement news, an AMPTS (automated methane potential test system) has already been delivered and is currently being used in a project between BEACON and an AberInnovation Virtual Member in the BEACON labs on the Gogerddan Campus. This piece of equipment will be housed within the Biorefining Centre once it has been handed over, but its early purchase has expanded the University’s scientific capabilities in the meantime.

Lastly, work on the mixed-use path between Bow Street and the Innovation and Enterprise Campus has been completed by Ceredigion County Council. This path will link with the upcoming train station in Bow Street (due in May 2020) and will offer visitors from outside of Aberystwyth a convenient way of reaching both the Aberystwyth Innovation and Enterprise Campus and Aberystwyth University’s Gogerddan Campus.