New concepts, new ideas and new solutions - Poots

Date published: 12 February 2020

We must encourage new concepts, new ideas and new solutions to maximise opportunities for Northern Ireland’s agriculture, food, environment, marine, forestry and rural sectors – Poots

DAERA Minister Edwin Poots MLA is calling on the public to help shape the Department's Future Innovation Strategy. Responses should be submitted before Thursday, March 5, 2020.

Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots MLA, made the comments as he called for views on his Department’s draft Innovation Strategy, currently out for consultation.

The Minister said: “We are facing many complex challenges requiring innovative solutions, including climate change and a growing world population. We need to be better at generating and exploiting novel ideas, improving processes and technologies and finding new ways of doing things. We have to find more resilient and sustainable ways to produce food efficiently with a lower environmental footprint.

“Science and innovation are at the very heart of that challenge. I want this strategy to create an innovative culture across Northern Ireland. We cannot continue to do more of the same, I want to see a step change in the approach we take to encourage and support innovation in the agriculture, food, environment, marine, forestry and rural sectors. The need for innovation has never been greater.

“I would encourage anyone with an interest to take the opportunity to help shape the new DAERA Innovation Strategy.”  

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) draft Innovation Strategy consultation document is currently available for comment. Responses will be accepted until Thursday 5 March 2020.

Download the consultation document

Notes to editors: 

  1. DAERA has responsibility for the environment, farming, certain aspects of food, fisheries, forestry and sustainability policy and regulation and the development of the rural sector in Northern Ireland.
  2. DAERA is currently implementing a Science Transformation Programme. This programme aims to ensure that the science DAERA secures and uses is innovative, collaborative and transformative and will support a healthy and sustainable economy, environment and rural community. As part of the Science Transformation Programme, a draft high level Science Strategy Framework has been developed. This guides how DAERA can optimise its use of science. This Innovation Strategy derives from the draft Science Strategy Framework and is integral to its implementation.
  3. The Innovation Strategy sets out the Strategic Context for the production of a DAERA Innovation Strategy, describes what innovation is and explores the barriers to innovation. It also identifies three goals and associated objectives to stimulate and support innovation and prioritises the overarching themes of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Transformative Bioeconomy.
  4. The DAERA Innovation Strategy proposals have been informed by engagement with key stakeholders representing all areas for which DAERA has responsibility as well as government departments, universities, academics and innovation facilitators.
  5. The ‘DAERA Innovation Strategy: Stakeholder Consultation’ documents can be accessed on the DAERA website. A hard copy of the consultation is available by contacting Science Evidence and Innovation Policy Division, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Room 643, Dundonald House, Upper Newtownards Road, Ballymiscaw, Belfast, BT4 3SB, email:, telephone: 028 9037 8389
  6. The closing date for responses is Thursday 5 March 2020.
  7. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
  8. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or via email. Out of office hours, please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.

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