The original idea for the Action came from researchers on food waste valorisation at the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence (GCCE) at the University of York. York has long been a leader in the use of renewable resources, especially waste resources, for the production of higher-value chemicals and materials. Work on bio-derived waste as a renewable resource began at York while researching surface waxes of wheat straw, silica bio-derived adhesives and Starbons® materials (http://www.starbon-technologies.com/).
Food supply chain waste valorisation at the centre has consisted of work on wheat straw, citrus peels, cashew nut shell liquid, pea pods, coffee grounds and many other types of wet processing wastes via the WasteValor project (http://www.wastevalor.org/). Led by PhD student Lucie Pfaltzgraff, York created the Bio-waste Industrial Symbiosis Network (BIS). This network was designed to create a critical mass of researchers and industry contacts at the interface of chemistry, biology, biotechnology, food technology and engineering in order to form a pool of experts aiming to develop the use of food supply chain waste for bio-chemicals, bio-materials and bio-fuels. The BIS network was launched at a Technology Fair in Santa Clara, California, and in June 2012 it was revealed that the York Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence had won a European Co-operation in Science and Technology (COST) grant to run the network.
The new COST Action on Food waste valorisation for sustainable chemicals, materials & fuels was given the name 'EUBIS' to reflect the European focus of the funding while still preserving the more international ethics of the original BIS network. EUBIS was officially funded in March 2013. The original MoU was signed by representatives of 21 countries and is still expanding. Now the network is expanding to include international partners such as Brazil, Hong Kong and Argentina, and industrial partners are joining the network to help target the research, ensuring swift uptake into commercial environments.