Bioeconomy Ireland Week 2020 gets underway

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Martin Heydon has announced the start of ‘Bioeconomy Ireland Week 2020’ today (Monday October 19) which will run until Friday, October 23.

Bioeconomy Ireland Week will place a spotlight on Ireland’s bioeconomy through a series of online events and activities aimed at citizens, industry professionals and policymakers from multiple leading stakeholder groups within the Irish Bioeconomy Network.

The week long series of events is coordinated by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and Department of Environment Climate and Communications in collaboration with bioeconomy leaders including BiOrbic SFI Bioeconomy Research Centre and Irish Bioeconomy Foundation.

The bioeconomy uses renewable biological resources sourced sustainably from land and sea; these include crops, forestry, fisheries, aquaculture, micro-organisms and animals.

It converts these resources and their processing by-products into value added bio-based products including proteins, feeds, fertilizers, plastics and energy.

Green jobs in bioeconomy

The bioeconomy has the potential to create new sustainable opportunities for farmers and lead to the creation of high quality green jobs in rural and coastal areas.

Minister Heydon said: “We are living through historic times where not just on our own but the global economy has suffered in just a short few months.

“From this unprecedented and difficult position we have the opportunity to reformulate our economy.

The bioeconomy provides opportunities to rebuild and restructure in a green sustainable and circular way for our primary producers, as well as the agri-food, marine, forestry, waste management, energy, construction, pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. We must Build Back Better.

Minister Heydon along with the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan, also announced the launch of the National Bioeconomy Forum, which will comprise and provide a voice for a broad range of stakeholders in the bioeconomy, including industry, relevant state bodies and community groups.

The goal of the Bioeconomy Forum is to promote, support and advocate for the sustainable development of the bioeconomy in Ireland.

Schedule of events for Bioeconomy Ireland Week

Tomorrow Tuesday, October 20 the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBeA) will launch the INTERREG North West Europe funded Three C Project during an online webinar.

Panel speakers will include Seán Finan IrBeA CEO; Tony Quinn of the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine; Stephen McCormack IrBeA Project officer;  Colin Keyse, of Ffarm Moelcyi Wales-Three C partner and Dr. Robert Johnson of Arigna Biofuels.

On Thursday October 22 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presents an online webinar on Green Enterprise Innovation for the Circular economy.

On Friday October 23 the launch of the Bord Iascaigh Mara (BIM) report on ‘Scoping a Seaweed bio-refinery Concept for Ireland’ will take place through an online webinar.

Speakers include the co-authors of the report Sarah Hotchkiss and Ross Campbell (Cybercollids).

Another highlight on Friday’s schedule includes an online webinar on ‘Sustainable Farming: A Range of Perspectives’.

Panel speakers will include Jane Shackleton organic beef & sheep farmer & PhD researcher at University College Dublin (UCD); Dale Crammond from the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine; Enda Buckley Director of Sustainability at Carbery Group; Professor Jane Stout of Trinity College Dublin and Dr Cornelia Grace of Devenish Nutrition.