The European Commission has announced €22 million in funding will be provided for a new bio-economy research project, AgriChemWhey, which will be led by Glanbia, according to BusinnessWorld.ie.
The project will receive the funding from Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) under the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. It will be the first dairy industry project to be awarded funding under this programme.
Additional funding will be provided from other partners involved in the project, which would put its total value at €30 million.
Making A Sustainable Industry
AgriChemWhey, developed by Glanbia in collaboration University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin, aims to convert by-products from the dairy industry into reusable bio-based products including biodegradable plastics. The main objective of the project is the development of a new bio-refinery at Lisheen, Co. Tipperary.
The project will aim to take low-value side streams from the dairy processing industry, such as excess whey permeate and delactosed whey permeate, and then convert them in a sustainable lactic acid that will be of high value and able to compete in the market. Lactic acids can be used for human nutrition and bio-based fertilisers.
The project hopes to ‘underpin the growth of a more sustainable European dairy industry in the post milk quota era through innovation and knowledge exchange, serving as a model for sustainable growth in dairy output in the EU and globally’.
Flagship For Bio-Economy
Making the announcement, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan said: “I am very pleased to see this project receive funding under the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking.
“AgriChemWhey is a highly innovative research project which, if successful, will serve as a flagship for Europe’s growing bio-economy, contributing towards a more resource efficient European dairy sector, with enormous potential for replication in other areas across Europe, while also providing a boost to jobs and growth in Europe’s rural economy.”
Speaking at the launch, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed said, "I congratulate Glanbia and all the Irish partners involved in this ground-breaking award. Innovation is a key theme of the Food Wise 2025 strategy for the sustainable growth of the agri-food sector. Projects such as AgriChemWhey will strengthen the environmental sustainability of the sector, while offering new opportunities for rural employment and development."
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.