Minister English welcomes 2015 call for Agri-Food Research proposals

Minister English and Council Chairman Brian Fitzgerald at the "Boyne Valley – Home of Food Innovation Conference and Exhibition"

Minister English and Meath County Council Chairman Brian Fitzgerald at the “Boyne Valley – Home of Food Innovation Conference and Exhibition”

“I welcome the announcement this week by the Department of Agriculture for a new call for research proposals to help drive innovation in the agri-food sector as envisaged in Food Wise 2025, and I urge interested individuals in the sector in Meath to apply” local Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English has said.

“From an almost standing start 15 years ago we have made Ireland an innovation and research leader in many fields, we must do the same now for Agriculture too. We need world class and job creating agri-research, and that is what this new call for research proposals is seeking to achieve. To hold and expand our global market share, Ireland must be at the forefront of innovation in support of sustainable intensification of food production. Locally, Meath has been the home of 5,000 years of innovation, playing host to Ireland’s first farmers and the builders of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. Now it is time for the Boyne Valley to be a trendsetter again. It was a pleasure to officially open and speak at the “Boyne Valley – Home of Food Innovation Conference and Exhibition” in the Pilo Hotel on Wednesday, organised by Meath Enterprise and Meath County Council, and I hope many of the participants there can be part of this call for research proposals to help attain the targets of Food Wise 2025” Minister English stated.

Food Wise 2025 identifies ambitious and challenging growth projections for agri- food in Ireland including: 85% increase in exports to €19bn, 65% increase in primary production value to €10bn, 70% increase in the sectors value addition to the economy to over €13bn, and the creation of 23,000 jobs in the supply chain from producer to value added activities.

This new call for research from the Department of Agriculture will fund high quality and impactful research designed to make the Irish agri food sector more competitive and environmentally and economically sustainable and to help it achieve the strategic growth targets in Food Wise 2025. It will also build and maintain critical research capacity and capability in the Irish public research system.
The areas covered by Call 2015 include animal and crop production, food processing, food for health, food integrity and safety, forest management production and resource utilisation, the wider bio-economy as well as the sustainability of the supply chain.