The future development of Ireland’s bioeconomy opportunities featured strongly at the Agtech Symposium 2017
Published on 19-07-2017 15:27:01 by AGRIFORVALOR
A large number of attendees participated in the Ag-Tech Symposium held in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, Ireland on July 5th 2017. As part of the conference, a bioeconomy session was organized by AgriForValor project partner Teagasc.
The event was organized by the Local Enterprise Offices of the South East, including Waterford, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Carlow and Wexford in collaboration and funded under the Action Plan for Jobs in Ireland. The event was organised in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland, Teagasc, Department of Agriculture, the Institutes of Technology, the Irish Farmers Journal, Agriforvalor, TSSG and industry partners.
Participants included farmers, engineers, Ag-Tech companies, investors, entrepreneurs and those with an interest in emerging technologies for agriculture. The symposium incorporated a range of expert speakers examining future developments for Ag-tech in Ireland and examining the role that new technologies were playing in the agricultural sector.
As part of the conference, a bioeconomy session organized by AgriForValor project partner Teagasc and facilitated by Barry Caslin (Teagasc), explored emerging biobased opportunities. The session opened with a presentation from James Gaffey (Institute of Technology Tralee) examining new circular bioeconomy opportunities for Ireland. Looking first at international examples like Beta Renewables, Corbion and Novamont, James also highlighted opportunities for Irish industry and agriculture to become key players in the biobased sector. James highlighted the need for specific solutions, including small-scale, co-operative and decentralized biorefining approaches to ensure that agriculture can play a key role in the future development of the Irish bioeconomy.
During the interactive workshop, Jack O’Connor of BHSL gave an overview of his inspirational journey involved in turning a biobased idea into an enterprise, and highlighted the challenges and opportunities offered by the bioeconomy to entrepreneurial farmers. Noel Gavigan of Ibec discussed the potential of wood residues in creating an indigenous low-carbon source of construction products such as eco-insulation. To conclude the session a discussion took place on a range of issues including policy measures with Enda Buckley of Carbery and others highlighting the need to develop a cohesive and comprehensive national bioeconomy strategy.