BiOrbic, Bioeconomy SFI Research Centre, was commissioned by British Embassy Dublin to produce this report to support ongoing engagement on research and innovation in sustainable agriculture, a key pillar of the bioeconomy, across and between the UK and Ireland.
This report highlights examples of existing research and innovation activity on sustainable agriculture and seeks to identify key opportunities for future collaboration. It provides an overview of Centres of Excellence working across different areas of agriculture and a snapshot of Ireland and UK projects. Together these give a flavour of the ongoing work on both islands that will contribute to the development of climate neutral farming of the future.
Focus areas of sustainable agriculture within a sustainable bioeconomy covered in the report are: Natural Capital, Soil Health and Crops, Agricultural Emissions, Animal Health and Agritech Innovation.
The report includes recommendations from a workshop hosted by the British Embassy in October 2021 ‘Agricultural Innovation for people, nature and climate – opportunities for the UK and Ireland to work together in support of COP26 goals’. At the UN COP26 climate summit, commitments were made to transform agriculture and food systems through policy reforms, research and innovation to reduce emissions and protect nature, whilst securing food and jobs.
At the event, Department for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Permanent Secretary Tamara Finkelstein and the Department for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) Secretary General Brendan Gleeson opened a the session on UK and Ireland research collaboration with 40 participants from BiOrbic, Teagasc, Innovate UK, departmental officials, universities and associations from NI, GB and Ireland.