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Horizon Europe ROBIN Project Launches

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

Horizon Europe ROBIN Project Launches

               

To round off Bioeconomy Ireland Week 2022, we are delighted to announce that the Southern Regional Assembly and the Circular Bioeconomy Research Group (CircBio) at MTU have joined forces on the Horizon Europe Funded ROBIN project to work collaboratively with other regions across Europe from Greece, Spain, Germany, & Slovakia to support the delivery of better regional governance models in the bioeconomy. 

All partners face the common challenge of how to effectively implement an appropriate governance model for the bioeconomy. The ROBIN project will address this with the added value of empowering the regions to achieve their circular bioeconomy targets while promoting social innovation. This will be achieved through various activities facilitating a better understanding of each region through an analysis of the current policy mix; cataloguing and reviewing good practices; working with regional stakeholders to develop, establish and implement a bioeconomy governance model; pilot tests through the use of a digital toolbox.

What is the Bioeconomy?

Bioeconomy encompasses all sectors and systems that rely on biological resources and has the potential to support new jobs and grow Ireland’s economy while achieving green targets of reduced carbon emissions and sustainability.

What does this mean for the Southern Region of Ireland?

Irelands recently published Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) recognises the importance of the bioeconomy stating it is ‘critically important in helping Ireland move toward a low-carbon, bio-based circular economy and society. The sector has experienced significant growth in activity in recent years and is an area of strength for Ireland owing to the natural resources and infrastructure available’. More specially it also acknowledges that the Southern Region of Ireland has significant strengths in the bioeconomy which if understood and managed correctly presents an area of opportunity and growth for the region as well as providing a pathway to achieving our climate action targets.

Our region has enormous potential for renewable energy as well as becoming a global leader in the bioeconomy and our participation on the ROBIN project will bring us closer to achieving this ambition. In addition, having the right governance model in place will ensure we are taking the rights steps in bioeconomy to lead on climate action in the transition to a low carbon society.

The Southern Regional Assembly has a statutory role in implementing the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for the Southern Region in support of the National Planning Framework, a 12-year strategic development framework identifying key priorities for investment with the ambition to become the most liveable, green, creative and innovative regions in Europe.

David Kelly, Director of Southern Regional Assembly said, “we are delighted to be participating in the Horizon Europe funded ROBIN project. Due to extensive natural and infrastructure resources, the Southern Region has huge potential to inform and lead the way in the bioeconomy which will support a key Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy objective to transition to a low carbon economy. By collaborating with CIRCBIO MTU, and other regions across Europe, we look forward to facilitating, supporting and delivering better regional governance models in the bioeconomy”

MTU was established in January 2021 following the merger of Cork Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Tralee and is playing a leading role in supporting sustainable regional development including the development of a circular bioeconomy in the region.

Prof. Maggie Cusack, President of MTU said, “MTU is delighted to be involved with our partners, in this exciting and relevant project.  At the heart of all our endeavours, we at MTU ensure that all our learners acquire the knowledge and skill needed to promote sustainable development. This project re-enforces our commitment to this goal by supporting the circular bioeconomy and we look forward to working with all our partners to develop a sustainable future”

James Gaffey, Co-director CircBio Research Group, MTU said, “the Southern Region is home to an abundance of biological raw materials, with an extensive coastline, some of Ireland’s best pastureland and a growing forestry sector. We are also home to world leading research institutions in the field of circular bioeconomy, as well as homegrown companies developing sustainable products from these resources. CircBio is looking forward to collaborating with the Assembly and our ROBIN partners to explore and test novel circular bioeconomy governance structures, models and practices which can help to accelerate regional growth of this exciting sector, taking it to the next level”

The ROBIN project started in September and will run for three years. On 26-27 September the ROBIN partners met in Greece to officially kick start the project and discuss the next steps. With Q-PLAN coordinating this Horizon Europe project, ROBIN – “Deploying circular BIOeconomies at the Regional level with a territorial approach” will set the stage to empower and fulfill the role of European regional authorities to use social innovative techniques and shape their governance structures within the frame of circular bioeconomy.

For further information please contact the Southern Regional Assembly: Áine Whelan, EU Projects Officer Southern Regional Assembly. Phone: +353 (87) 265 2193 or email: awhelan@southernassembly.ie

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