Shared Island Bioeconomy Demonstration Initiative

The ‘Shared Island Bioeconomy Demonstration Initiative’ is a new, funding initiative which will support bioeconomy piloting and demonstration actions across Ireland and Northern Ireland aligning.

The Shared Island Bioeconomy Demonstration Initiative aligns with the DAERA Innovation strategy key priority theme of Transformative Bioeconomy.

This new initiative recognises that both jurisdictions on the Island are facing similar climate and sustainability challenges, have similar agriculture, land use and marine activities and have significant potential to unlock opportunities within the bioeconomy.

This funding mechanism is of relevance to stakeholders along the entire bio-based value chain, including SMEs, research performing organisations, local authorities, primary producers, and others. It will facilitate these stakeholders to build on existing, or establish new, cross-border collaborations, and develop proposals for piloting and demonstrating agriculture or marine based bioeconomy activities on an all-Island basis.

Making an Application

The Shared Island Bioeconomy Demonstration Initiative 2024 Call launched on 05 March 2024 is currently open for applications.

Applications must be submitted via the DAFM’s electronic submission system. To make an application please see ‘Available Applications’ at https://dafm.flexigrant.com.

First time users must register on the electronic submission system.

The closing date for submission of online applications is 07 June 2024 at 12pm (noon).

This funding Call has a total budget of €9 million. This is enabled by an allocation of €7 million from the Irish Government’s Shared Island Initiative, plus additional co-funding of €1.5 million from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and £0.5 million from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland.

The Call will support innovation for the Agri-Bioeconomy and for the Blue Bioeconomy and a North/South collaborative approach is essential in all applications.

Applicants are encouraged to read the Call Specification and Guidelines for Applicants documents prior to making an application. These documents can be found below at Shared Island Bioeconomy Demonstration Initiative (www.gov.ie).

A Frequently Asked Questions document has also been prepared.

Information Events

Two information events have been organised for prospective applicants to this Call. These events will include presentations by experts from DAFM and DAERA, as well as an opportunity for attendees to ask questions to an expert panel or via one-to-one clinics.

Event 1 will take place in Dundalk Institute of Technology on Friday 22 March 2024, 9.30am to 2pm.

Event 2 will take place in AFBI Hillsborough on Friday 19 April 2024, 9.30am to 2pm.

To attend, please register using the following link:

Background

The Irish Government’s Shared Island initiative aims to harness the full potential of the Good Friday Agreement to enhance cooperation, connection and mutual understanding on the Island of Ireland and to engage with all communities and traditions to build consensus around a shared future. The Shared Island Fund was announced in Budget 2021, with €500m in capital funding available between 2021-2025, ring-fenced for investment in collaborative North-South projects.

As part of the Shared Island Fund, the Irish Government has awarded €7 million for a Bioeconomy Demonstration Initiative Scheme to invest in sustainable, innovative, and circular bioeconomy development on a shared Island basis, with the aim of transforming the agri-food sector and creating jobs in the rural and coastal economy and sustaining rural and coastal communities.

The Shared Island Fund Bioeconomy Demonstration Initiative Scheme will support the move towards a low-carbon and circular economy. The Department for Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM) is bringing together the overall funding package which will be progressed through a competitive funding call. DAFM is working in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) to develop the opportunity on and all-Island basis to encourage the development of sustainable and circular projects for the agri-bioeconomy and blue bioeconomy across the Island of Ireland.

Information Session

On Thursday 14 September 2023, DAERA and DAFM held an online information session on the Shared Island Fund Bioeconomy Demonstration Initiative Scheme. A recording of the session can be viewed below.

The information session was moderated by InterTrade Ireland, the cross-border, trade and business development body. Officials from the Department of the Taoiseach provided an overview of the Government’s Shared Island Initiative. DAFM and DAERA officials gave a brief overview on the background and policy setting of the bioeconomy on the Island, before offering a first look at the Shared Island Fund Bioeconomy Demonstration Initiative Scheme and some outline details for prospective applicants. Presentation slides from the information session can also be viewed below:

Stakeholder Survey

We would appreciate 5 minutes of your time to complete the stakeholders survey. The purpose of the survey is to help both DAFM and DAERA understand the background of potential applicants, their ideas and areas of interest.

Partnering platform

Cross border collaboration is a requisite for applying for this funding opportunity. As a result, a partnering platform has been set up which may help you to find a partner in the opposite jurisdiction (Ireland or Northern Ireland).

Interested parties are encouraged to register early, however, please bear in mind that it will take a little time for sufficient people to register on the platform. It is recommended that you register initially and revisit the platform from time-to-time to see if there are new potential partners registered who you may want to engage with.

To access the Shared Island Bioeconomy Demonstration Initiative partnering platform, please visit the Shared Island Bioeconomy Regisration Page.

It is important that when registering your company’s/organisation’s profile on the platform, you clearly outline your expertise, resources, capability etc. in relation to the bioeconomy (agri, blue or both). This will allow potential partners to identify whether or not they want to have an initial engagement with you, with a view to potential collaboration on the Shared Island Fund opportunity.

Contact us

If you would like to contact a local expert in DAFM or DAERA for more information about this funding opportunity, please contact:

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