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The National Rural Network ran a Bioeconomy Awareness Campaign as part of Ireland Bioeconomy Week 2020 from the 19th to 23rd of October 2020. This pioneering initiative provided farmers and rural dwellers with an insight into the types of locally-led bioeconomy projects that the LEADER Programme as well as the EIP-AGRI initiative are supporting ‘on-the-ground’ at farm and community level under Ireland’s Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020. Such an approach is particularly important as rural areas prepares to adapt, rebuild and re-energize as part of Ireland’s COVID-19 crisis recovery response.

More information about Ireland’s Bioeconomy Week 2020 can be found here: https://irishbioeconomy.ucd.ie/biw/

NRN Bioeconomy Awareness

Day 1 – October 19th 2020

Biorefinery Glas EIP-AGRI Operational Group

NRN Bioeconomy Awareness The Biorefinery Glas EIP-AGRI Operational Group is Ireland’s first small-scale biorefinery demonstration project, supporting the development of new business models and farmer diversification into the circular bioeconomy. Through the utilisation of a multi-product biorefinery, the project will help ensure that each component of grass is used at its highest value, whilst also offering added environmental benefits.

This project is playing a key role in changing the role of farmers in the bioeconomy, from suppliers of biomass to producers of finished and semi-finished products. More information about this project can be found on page 11 of the NRN’s EIP-AGRI Operational Group booklet. See: https://www.nationalruralnetwork.ie/eip-agri-news/eip-agri-irelands-operational-groups-2019-booklet-launch/

The latest edition of the Biorefinery Glas newsletter can be found here: https://bit.ly/2KoIDqa

NRN Bioeconomy Awareness

Day 2 – October 20th, 2020

McCauley Wood Fuels – Biomass Wood Fuel Business supported by the LEADER Programme 2014-2020

NRN Bioeconomy Awareness McCauley Wood Fuels is a biomass wood fuel business based in Co. Leitrim. The growing demand for woodchip biomass could not be sustained by McCauley Wood Fuels’ processing capacity prior to availing of LEADER funding under the current Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020. LEADER supported the purchase of a new mobile biomass woodchipper for this business.

This has helped improve the business by providing for larger capacity, and more reliable and efficient wood chipping, as well as giving it greater flexibility. Capacity now exists to chip in accordance to periodic peak demands and this has also opened the option to process smaller lots on-site for local forestry growers.

A full case study on this project can be found on the NRN website: https://www.nationalruralnetwork.ie/leader-case-studies/biomass-supply-chain-upgrade-mccauley-wood-fuels/

Day 3 – October 21st, 2020

Small Biogas Demonstration Programme (SBDP) EIP-AGRI Operational Group

NRN Bioeconomy Awareness The Small Biogas Demonstration Programme (SBDP) EIP-AGRI Operational Group aims to stimulate the deployment of innovative on-farm small-scale biogas production by providing support and a capital contribution to three demonstration projects.

Research will assist in understanding how the production of biogas through a circular economy model can lead sustainability improvements at farm level. More information about this project can be found on page 24 of the NRN’s EIP-AGRI Operational Group booklet. See: https://www.nationalruralnetwork.ie/eip-agri-news/eip-agri-irelands-operational-groups-2019-booklet-launch/

The EIP-AGRI Service Point have also recently produced a new press release this project. See: https://bit.ly/2VFXwcU

NRN Bioeconomy Awareness

Day 4 – October 22nd, 2020

Coillte Sláintiúil – Protecting Native Woodlands Enterprise supported by the LEADER Programme 2014-2020

NRN Bioeconomy Awareness Coillte Sláintiúil (Healthy Forests in English), is a start-up enterprise based in the Muscraí Gaeltacht area in Co. Cork providing a range of woodland conservation solutions, such as the containment of invasive species and diseases. LEADER assisted Coillte Sláintiúil to reach the next stage of their development by providing them with grant support to purchase new equipment.

This has resulted in building Coillte Sláintiúil’s reputation, networks and capacity to take on more complex conservation projects, providing important environmental needs in the woodland context. From a bioeconomy perspective, old timber cleared from sites by Coillte Sláintiúil can be used as firewood, for fencing or woodchip for agricultural or horticultural uses.

A full case study on this project can be found on the NRN website:  https://www.nationalruralnetwork.ie/leader-case-studies/coillte-slaintiuil/

Day 5 – October 23rd, 2020

Biomass to Biochar for Farm Bioeconomy (BBFB) EIP-AGRI Operational Group

NRN Bioeconomy Awareness The Biomass to Biochar for Farm Bioeconomy (BBFB) project aims to pilot the conversion of unutilised agricultural biomass, such as rushes, gorse, bracken and hazel and other problem species into stable forms of recalcitrant biocarbon through a cutting-edge Mobile Pyrolysis Unit on-site with farmers which can, when redeployed to the soil, confer multiple ecosystem benefits, driving an innovative bioeconomy on and off the farm.

In doing so, this innovative project demonstrates a methodology for Irish agriculture to develop a carbon-neutral approach to the management of undesirable biomass, while at the same time increasing farm productivity.

More information about this project can be found on page 10 of the NRN’s EIP-AGRI Operational Group booklet. See: https://www.nationalruralnetwork.ie/eip-agri-news/eip-agri-irelands-operational-groups-2019-booklet-launch/

NRN Bioeconomy Awareness

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