EU Just Transition opportunities shared at information events in The CUBE Portlaoise

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Presenting at the DAFM Bioeconomy Demonstration Initiative information session, L-R: Patrick Barrett, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Bernie Roe, Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly; and Caroline Hofman, Managing Director of The CUBE.

The Midlands region and beyond was well represented at two EU Just Transition Fund and Bioeconomy Demonstration Initiative information events which took place in The CUBE Low Carbon Centre of Excellence in Portlaoise, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, on Tuesday, 4th July.

An overview of the EU Just Transition Fund and a look at potential suitable projects was provided by Bernie Roe and Terence Connolly from the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly (EMRA). EMRA has been appointed the Managing Authority for the EU Just Transition Fund and is responsible for managing and providing information on the programme, assisting in the selection of eligible projects, and monitoring implementation.

The EU Just Transition Fund (EU JTF) is a new funding programme created to help communities across Europe that are experiencing negative impacts from the transition to climate neutrality to meet the challenges posted by this transition. Co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union, up to €169 million will be available over the duration of the fund to support the diversification of local economies and the creation of new opportunities that complement the assets of the designated Territory, along with related activities.

Patrick Barrett, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, delivering a detailed presentation on the Bioeconomy Demonstration Initiative Scheme and the opportunities for the Midlands region and Ireland

The EU JTF in Ireland will support the areas in the wider Midlands where communities have been negatively affected by the closure of peat production and peat-fired energy generation facilities. The designated territory for this fund includes the counties of Laois, Longford, Offaly, Roscommon, Westmeath, and the municipal districts of Ballinasloe (Co. Galway), Athy and Clane-Maynooth (Co. Kildare), and Carrick-on-Suir and Thurles (Co. Tipperary).

Patrick Barrett, Agricultural Inspector, Research Division for Bioeconomy, Agriculture Knowledge and Innovation Systems with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, provided a detailed overview of the Bioeconomy Demonstration Initiative, one of the schemes under the EU Just Transition Fund. He also provided key information for prospective applicants, including project scope and requirements.

The EU Just Transition Fund Bioeconomy Demonstration Initiative Scheme has an indicative budget of €10 million in 2023 and €10 million in 2024. The official launch for submissions from eligible applicants is due to be announced in August 2023.

Patrick Barrett, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, speaking after the event said:

“The Bioeconomy Demonstration Initiative Scheme can fund the development of ‘Bioeconomy Districts’, ‘Living Labs’ and ‘Pilot & Demonstration Innovation Actions’ to support circular bioeconomy value chain development within the Region. The purpose of the scheme is to advance a competitive bioeconomy for a sustainable future and to develop the Just Transition Fund Territory in Ireland to become an exemplar of such development.”

Caroline Hofman, Managing Director of The CUBE, added:

“We were delighted to host these two information events in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Originally we were due to hold one se

ssion, but due to demand we held an additional session in the afternoon. This shows the significant appetite for the EU Just Transition Fund opportunities for the Midlands Region and other areas within the appointed territory.

I would encourage any business or organisation with a project in mind related to the Bioeconomy Demonstration Initiative or in any other area relevant to the EU Just Transition Fund to get in touch with EMRA directly or contact The CUBE. Here at The CUBE, we can also assist you in finding relevant funding or grant opportunities for your business, community group, or organisation.”

For more information about the EU Just Transition Fund, visit or e-mail

You are also invited to take part in a short EU survey for JTF stakeholders which can be completed at

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