€2.2 million for Environmental and Timber Research Announced

Apr 17, 2024 | Innovation

Minister of State Martin Heydon T.D., overseeing Research and Innovation at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, has announced a funding allocation of €2.2 million for Irish researchers participating in European research endeavours. The funding encompasses five projects within the European Green ERAHUB initiative, dedicated to advancing sustainable agriculture and food systems. Leading the charge are Irish researchers from Teagasc and the University of Limerick, managing projects like SustainSheep and NutriStorm. SustainSheep aims to redefine breeding goals for sheep to minimise methane emissions, while NutriStorm focuses on optimising fertilizer efficiency to minimise nutrient loss in soil.

Other collaborative ventures include LIFE and Fertigo from University College Dublin and Teagasc. These projects delve into reducing fertilizer usage through innovative nutrient solutions derived from agricultural waste, and exploring the efficacy of new cover crop species to stabilise soil nitrogen, enhance phosphorus utilisation, and preserve soil nutrients. Additionally, the DARE2CYCLE project, led by researchers from the University of Galway, is set to explore upcycling methods for dairy waste into valuable microbial protein, fostering protein self-sufficiency across Europe.

Meanwhile, the ‘ForestValue2’ research initiative targets resilient and sustainable forest and timber building systems. A portion of the funding, totalling €740,000, has been allocated to the University of Galway and Trinity College Dublin for the CRESTIMB project. Together with collaborators from across Europe, they aim to develop innovative timber systems suitable for multi-story buildings.

In his announcement, Minister Heydon expressed optimism about the collaborative efforts, highlighting their potential to benefit the broader agriculture and forestry sectors. He also emphasised Ireland’s leadership in two significant European collaborative projects, especially in critical areas concerning climate commitments and the enhancement of sustainability and resilience in agricultural and forest systems.

Highlighting the significance of these projects, Minister Heydon stressed their role in addressing common challenges such as greenhouse gas emissions, reducing fertilizer usage, diversifying protein sources, and promoting sustainable timber usage in large-scale construction. He voiced confidence in the collective impact of these initiatives, foreseeing tangible solutions that will drive positive outcomes for Ireland’s agricultural, food, and forestry sectors.

For more information about the Environmental and Timber Research announcement, click here.

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