NACO - Natural Future of Cosmetics

IT Tralee supporting rurally based natural cosmetics companies.

From January 1st, 2021, CIT and IT Tralee have been designated Munster Technological University.

NACO is an initiative to help support rurally based cosmetics companies. The project is a collaboration with the University of Oulu in Finland and is funded by the North, East and West Kerry Development (NEWKD) LEADER Rural Development Program. 

There is a high demand for natural cosmetics in Europe. Research predicts that the natural and organic beauty market will reach $22 billion in sales by 2024.  Despite large potential markets, limited support structures commonly restrict rural natural cosmetics SMEs from obtaining the necessary guidance and support to grow.  The focus of NACO is on supporting rural cosmetic companies in the Kerry region whose products utilise natural extracts, sourced regionally or nationally 

The NACO project will offer these cosmetics companies the opportunity to take part in specially tailored training programs and networking events centred around innovation, formulation, regulation and commercialisation. These events will focus on key deliverables such as research and development, how to access R&D funding, formula trials, the Health Products Regulatory Agency, product testing and more. The cosmetics sector is extremely competitive and can be challenging to navigate and know where to access supports. NACO will help to support these cosmetics companies by providing a hub for knowledge, networking, training and innovation.  

Companies will be offered the opportunity to access facilities and know how in the University of Oulo, in addition to the expertise available in Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre in IT Tralee which includes state of the art cell culture and efficacy testing. Shannon ABC is part of the Technology Gateway Network funded by Enterprise Ireland. 

The NACO project is led by IT Tralee researchers, Dr Niall Burke, Dr Joanna Tierney and Dr Aoife Curran.