LIT and Irish Bieconomy Foundation awarded €4.6 Million by Enterprise Ireland through the Regional Enterprise Development Fund.
The LIT team led by VP RDI Dr Liam Brown and HOR Dr Paudie Murray are part of a multidisciplinary consortium the Irish Bioeconomy Foundation including TCD, UCD, Commercial Mushroom Producers (CMP) GlanBia and Tipperary Co. Co. The purpose of the Irish Bioeconomy Foundation (IBF) is to promote the conversion of Ireland’s natural resources on land and in the sea to high value products for the development of a sustainable Irish bio-economy that is globally competitive.
The IBF propose to develop a National Bioeconomy Innovation & Piloting Facility for scale-up of processes to convert biobased resources to high value products at the Lisheen Mine site just outside Thurles. The proposed national facility would encompass a flexible, modular, pilot-scale multi-purpose chemical & biological infrastructure that would act as a test bed and be a driver for the scale-up of technologies from industry, universities and other research performing organisations enabling agri, food and marine companies to valorise their side-streams and residues to high value products. These value-added products will ultimately be consumed in a variety of industries including Nutraceuticals, biobased Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, polymers etc.
The facility will be a lynchpin which connects vitally important, but currently disparate elements in a burgeoning Bioeconomy ecosystem across Ireland. In doing so, it will act as a catalyst for the regeneration and re-industrialisation of Lisheen and the surrounding rural region by facilitating the efficient and cost-effective scale up and valorisation of new processes and technologies relevant to the bioeconomy in Ireland. It will enable diversification of business activities in Agri-food and marine sectors in the rural economy which will attract and retain workers and businesses in the region which in turn will drive innovation and investment. It will do so by acting as a “centre of gravity” for industry, entrepreneurs, academics, and ancillary service providers to interact, innovate and create new technologies, processes, products, companies and jobs.