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22
AUGUST 2019
Research Innovation Focus
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
Research Innovation
To be successful, the bioeconomy needs to undertake a
coordinated approach that harnesses our national bioresources;
builds on our competitive advantages and industries; supplies
sustainable biomass feedstock to feed both existing and new value
chains and embeds innovation, sustainability and circularity at
the heart of economic development.
Following on from the EU Bioeconomy Strategy call for national
bioeconomy development, the Government's Action Plan for Jobs
and Action Plan for Rural Development called for an assessment
of the potential of Ireland's bioeconomy to further contribute
to economic development and the transition to a low-carbon
economy. The National Development Plan - Project Ireland 2040
highlighted the potential of the circular bioeconomy in promoting
the more e cient and sustainable use of renewable resources
while supporting economic development and employment in
rural Ireland. As part of Project 2040, the Government published
the first National Policy Statement on the Bioeconomy in March
2018 which mandated a Bioeconomy Implementation Group
jointly chaired by the Departments of Agriculture, Food and Marine
(DAFM) and the Department of Communications, Climate Action
and Environment (DCCAE) to take forward a number of major
actions, in close collaboration with bioeconomy industries and
other partners. A Progress Report was approved by Government
in June 2019 and outlines the activities undertaken to date or
planned up to the end of next year to address the actions and
challenges set out in the national policy statement.
Some of the key elements include:
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Improved policy integration and coherence through adopting
a Whole-of-Government approach with bioeconomy
actions now being integrated into key new policies including:
Future Jobs Ireland; and the Government Climate Plan. The
bioeconomy is also being considered in the ongoing Common
Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the European Maritime and
Fisheries Fund (EMFF) negotiation. The Irish Government
views these developments as being important e orts to
strengthen the commercial prospects of the bioeconomy as
a means to deliver on the strategic policy objectives of the
national bioeconomy policy statement including: a sustainable
economy and society; decarbonisation of the economy; jobs
and competiveness; and regional prosperity.
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Increasing industrial and commercial activity generated by the
development of a critical mass of lead innovators exploiting
opportunities appropriate to our primary production, enterprise,
science and natural resource base. A leading example is Nuritas
who combine artificial intelligence and genomics to discover
and unlock natural bioactive peptides with extraordinary health
benefits and are viewed as an exemplar in the bioeconomy.
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Strongly focusing on establishing the conditions required for
the commercial viability of leading bioeconomy value chains
through: ensuring bioeconomy opportunities are on o er in
national research funding programmes; that demonstration
funding opportunities through Project Ireland 2040 have
biorefining in scope; and by establishing a Technical Working
Group to examine regulatory matters on residual bio-waste
flows so they can be successfully managed for use in the
bioeconomy. The Bioeconomy Implementation Group also
plans to establish a public-private Bioeconomy Forum later this
year.
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Improved networking & awareness;
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Ongoing examination of the role for sustainable finance in the
development of the Irish bioeconomy.
Next Steps
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As per the Climate Action Plan, to support the Regional
Assemblies to undertake bioeconomy feasibility to identify areas
of potential growth in the regions;
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Support the activities of the BEACON Bioeconomy Research
Centre and the Irish Bioeconomy Foundation and other
Bioeconomy Innovation Clusters under development in
Monaghan and Connemara;
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Undertake an awareness campaign to encourage take-up of
bioeconomy funding opportunities for bioeconomy value chain
development and commercialisation;
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Publish a feasibility study on the establishment of National
Marine Biomaterials Repository;
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Identify opportunities for use of certification, standards and
labels to support market development for bio-based products;
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Engage with stakeholders to seek the development of second-
level, vocational and higher education curricula;
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Scope the development of a Bioeconomy Innovation Platform
to examine the provision of specialised bioeconomy business
support services.
The bioeconomy in action in Ireland
The bioeconomy in Ireland is taking its place as an innovation
led growth area for consideration by those operating in the
Agriculture, Forestry, Land-Use, Marine and Organic Waste sectors.
Headline examples include: the building of a first-of-a-kind in the
world biorefinery by Glanbia producing new value added biobased
chemicals from cheese processing residues and the Carbery-led
small-scale mobile biorefinery providing opportunities for primary
producers to produce feed for ruminants and non-ruminants
and high value food products from grass, whilst protecting the
environment, climate and enhancing biodiversity.
The development
of the bioeconomy
The Department of
Agriculture, Food and the
Marine outlines its priorities
to the development of the
bioeconomy in Ireland
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