Following the latest round of EU funding from the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme related to agriculture, Irish agri-researchers from academia and companies have been awarded a total of €6.32 million in, food, marine and inland waters, the rural economy and the bioeconomy.
The funding awarded is spread across a number of projects, undertaken collaboratively by researchers in Ireland and a number of other mainly EU countries, and covers a broad spectrum of research and innovation activities in key areas of strategic importance.
Among the projects being supported are efforts from industry and academia to work together to reduce and create value from what was previously considered as food waste. It will also fund networks between researchers, advisors, farmers/foresters and other actors in the agri-food supply chain to enhance cooperation and stimulate knowledge exchange so as to optimise the transition to a knowledge-driven agriculture.
Operating under Horizon 2020, the Bio-Based Industries Joint Technology Initiative is driven by the Vision and Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) developed by the Biobased Industry.
In total, Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 2 of €877 million and will run until 2020. The Bio-Based Industries Joint Technology Initiative is a €3.7 billion Public-Private Partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium.
Commenting on the results, Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine Michael Creed T.D said: I commend all of the Irish researchers and companies for their participation in this highly competitive EU funding programme and in particular I congratulate those participants that have been successful. Ireland is continuing to outperform targets set in this part of Horizon 2020 which is related to Agriculture, Forestry, the Marine and Inland Waters, the Rural Economy and the Bioeconomy.
“Overall, we are competing successfully with the best researchers and most innovative companies in the EU for funding”.
The 2016 Societal Challenge 2 Horizon 2020 Work Programme was launched by the EU Commission on the 13th October 2015. The work programme relevant to Societal Challenge 2 has identified a number key strategic areas for funding:Sustainable Food Security – Resilient and resource-efficient value chains; Blue Growth – Demonstrating an ocean of opportunities; Rural Renaissance – Fostering innovation and business opportunities; and Bio-Based innovation for sustainable goods and services – Supporting the development of a European Bioeconomy.
“I particularly welcome the fact that Teagasc, the Marine Institute, our Higher Education Institutes and SMEs have been successful in Horizon 2020 thereby helping to innovate in areas such as Blue Growth, Rural Renaissance and the Bioeconomy all of which are vital for creating high-quality and sustainable jobs, growth and investment particularly in the rural and coastal areas” the minister added.