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Launch Event for Bioeconomy Ireland Week 2023

Launch Event for Bioeconomy Ireland Week 2023

Co-hosted by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Southern Regional Assembly, the launch event of Bioeconomy Ireland Week 2023 was held in Assembly House, Waterford on Monday 16th October 2023.

Bioeconomy Ireland Week is an annual, week-long series of events that takes place this year from the 16th-23rd of October, aimed at raising awareness of the Irish and European Bioeconomy and to enable stakeholder engagement. 

The kick-off event - Communities, Regions & Cities – The ‘Bioeconomy in Action’ in your Region, will highlight ongoing bioeconomy research to support regional governance advancements, and examine policy, scientific and industrial efforts, and activities to address key challenges in scaling up the bioeconomy.   

After opening remarks from Martin Heydon, T.D., Minister of State with responsibility for Research and Development, Farm Safety and New Market Development and Cllr Terry Shannon, Cathaoirleach of the Southern Regional Assembly, the morning started with a rapid-fire introduction of practical bioeconomy examples from the Southern Region.

Rebecca Walsh from the Southern Regional Assembly began with an introduction to the ROBIN Project which focuses on deploying circular bioeconomies at a regional level with a territorial approach. Afterwards, James Gaffey of CircBio in Munster Technological University provided a snapshot of the projects that they are working on like INFORMBIO, Mainstream BIO & Farm Zero C projects.

We heard from Archishman Bose in University College Cork about developing Cascading Biomethane Biochemicals and Biofertilizer Systems for a circular bioeconomy in Ireland and his project CABBBIE, before hearing from Stephen Napier with the Irish Bioeconomy Foundation and their plans for the National Bioeconomy Campus in Lisheen, Tipperary.

This was followed by a lively discussion from our moderator Dermot Keyes of Green Acre Marketing and panel participants representing policy, industry, regional and local authorities. We received insightful contributions from Kevin Lynch at the Southern Regional Assembly, Elaine Cullinan in Tipperary County Council, John Brosnan with ICOS and Karl Walsh representing the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. To conclude our discussions, Minister Heydon also provided his thoughts -

‘’The bioeconomy is a key area for us to be able to deliver those tangible alternative income streams to keep farmers on their farms in the next generation but also to tell the public of the really positive role that farming and agriculture can play in our rural economies.’’

Munster Technological University then ran an in person and online workshop to gather some crucial information in order to propel Ireland’s Bioeconomy forward. Attendees from Regional Assemblies, Local Authorities, Universities, Local Action Groups & Energy Agencies participated in determining what supports are available in relation to the bioeconomy, as well as identifying what supports are required.

Finally, the groups also discussed what linkages are needed between national, regional, and local level bodies to support successful bioeconomy implementation before the Director of the Southern Regional Assembly, David Kelly concluded a fruitful and informative day.

For further information please contact:

Rebecca Walsh, EU Projects Officer, Southern Regional Assembly

Email: rwalsh@southernassembly.ie

Web:  www.robin-project.eu

Photo Left to Right: Enda Hogan (Assistant Director of the Southern Regional Assembly), Cllr Terry Shannon (Cathaoirleach of the Southern Regional Assembly), Martin Heydon, T.D. (Minister of State with responsibility for Research and Development, Farm Safety and New Market Development), Rebecca Walsh (EU Projects Officer, Southern Regional Assembly), David Kelly (Director of the Southern Regional Assembly)

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