A funding call for proposals has just been launched to advance a competitive bioeconomy for a sustainable future in the EU Just Transition territory in Ireland. The Bioeconomy Demonstration Initiative scheme, part of the EU Just Transition Fund, will support the development of bioeconomy piloting and demonstration projects in the wider midlands area.
Proposals are being sought to support the bio-based sector to become climate neutral and sustainable with enhanced circularity, while remaining competitive on the global market.
This can be achieved by replacing non-renewable and fossil based raw materials and mineral resources with sustainably sourced biomass and biological waste to produce industrial and consumer goods.
The projects will aim to develop the Just Transition Fund Territory in Ireland as an exemplar, in Irelands and Europe’s mission as set out in the EU Green Deal to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent, by increasing the sustainability and circularity of biobased production and consumption systems through the development, demonstration and deployment of biobased innovation and solutions. Funding will support close collaboration between stakeholders along the entire bio-based value chain, including SMEs, research performing organisations, universities, local authorities, clusters, primary producers, bioprocessing industries, and consumer brands.
This funding call has two topics:
- Optimised and integrated industrial bio-based systems based on agriculture and/or forestry-based value chains
- Processing and co-processing of bio-based waste and mixed bio-based waste
The Bioeconomy Demonstration Initiative is being administered by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and is one of the schemes supported by the EU Just Transition Fund. Co-funded by the Government of Ireland and European Union, the EU Just Transition Fund has a single specific objective, which is to enable regions and people to address the social employment, economic and environmental impacts of the transition towards the Union’s 2030 targets for energy and climate and a climate-neutral economy of the Union by 2050, based on the Paris Agreement.
Geographical area covered:
EU Just Transition Fund territory. This includes the entire counties of Laois, Longford, Offaly, Roscommon, Westmeath, and municipal districts of Ballinasloe (Co. Galway), Athy and Clane-Maynooth (Co. Kildare), and Carrick-on-Suir and Thurles (Co. Tipperary).
This call falls under the EU JTF programme Priority 1: Generating employment for former peat communities by investing in the diversification of the local economy. The specific operation concerned is Action 1.3: Support research, development, and innovation activities to contribute to the development of the green and circular economy.
Stakeholders of the bio-based industries ecosystem are invited to apply for funding in a balanced and integrated consortium. This means that all partners must be integral to the project and make a real and substantive contribution to the outcome.
Calls for project proposals are open to other legal entities, be it private or public, for profit, or not-for-profit organisation, considering the following collaborative approach:
i. Proposals can be co-led by:
a. Research Performing Organisations including Technological Universities and Universities and others such as Teagasc, Marine Institute, etc.
c. Local Authorities in the EU JTF territory
ii. Proposals can be supported by the active funded involvement of local actors developing a competitive bio-based innovation and skills ecosystem including technological infrastructures (e.g. pilot lines, testing facilities, innovation hubs, open innovation testbeds, Key Enabling Technology Centres, demonstration sites or living labs) and non-profit legal entities such as clusters, NGOs, local and regional authorities, Education and Training Boards, community and local action groups.
iii. Proposals can be supported by the active funded involvement of large industry as outlined in the EU JTF regulation (Article 8 Scope of Support, Article 11 Territorial just transition plans regarding large enterprises and productive investments). Proposals can also involve cooperation with bio-based industries including primary producers, and bioprocessing and biomanufacturing industries, biobased material/product off-takers and consumer brands. Their cooperation can be through strategic participation or through the provision of cash, in-kind contributions, or additional activities including investments.
The full terms and conditions and how to apply are available in the Call Specification and Call Guidelines documents on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s (DAFM) webpage dedicated to this call: www.gov.ie/en/publication/deb47-2023-bioeconomy-demonstration-initiative-eu-just-transition-fund/.
Total amount of support:
€10 million. It is estimated that a contribution of up to €5 million per project would allow for the requested outcomes to be addressed appropriately.
Call start and end dates:
Application portal opens on Wednesday 16 August
Deadline for applications is Friday 13 October 2023, 12:00pm noon
Applications received after this time will not be eligible.
If you have any questions about the call, you can email: Research@agriculture.gov.ie
Read the Department’s Press Release about the call’s launch.
Full information and how to apply is available on DAFM’s page for the call.