Bioeconomy Ireland

What is the Bioeconomy?

The bioeconomy encompasses the production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food, feed, bio-based products and bio-energy. It includes agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food and pulp and paper production, as well as parts of chemical, biotechnological, waste and energy industries. Its sectors have a strong innovation potential to support Ireland's transition to a more integrated sustainable, low carbon economy.

The bioeconomy is one of the EU’s largest and most important sectors encompassing agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food, bio-energy and bio-based products with an annual turnover of around €2 trillion and employing around 18 million people. The bioeconomy is needed as the world has limited resources and face global challenges like climate change, land and ecosystem degradation, coupled with a growing demand for food, feed, biobased materials and energy. This is forcing countries, industries and people to seek new ways of producing and consuming. A sustainable and circular bioeconomy contributes to addressing these challenges. Ireland has a number of specific examples that have developed further in 2018 that highlight regional bioeconomy development and the funding and finance that is promoting such developments.

News & Events

Bioeconomy Ireland Week 2019

2019 sees Bioeconomy Ireland Week expanded to a whole week. Bioeconomy Ireland Week will take place from 11-18 October 2019 during which a series of events and activities will be taking place across the country to highlight activity in the bioeconomy.

Bioeconomy Policy

The Government's Action Plan for Jobs and Action Plan for Rural Development called for an assessment of the potential of Ireland's bioeconomy to further contribute to economic development and the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The National Development Plan - Project Ireland 2040 the Government's €116 billion development plan which is underpinned by a 20 year planning framework, highlights the potential of the circular bioeconomy in promoting the more efficient use of renewable resources while supporting economic development and employment in rural Ireland.

As part of Project 2040 the Government published on 12 March 2018 the first National Policy Statement on the Bioeconomy.  Through this commitment the Government recognises that the bioeconomy is crucial for sustainability and circularity while also providing an impetus to rural and regional development and employment.

Bioeconomy Implementation Group

The Government mandated an implementation group jointly chaired by the Departments of Agriculture, Food and Marine and Communications, Climate Action and Environment to address a number of major actions, in close collaboration with bioeconomy industries and other partners including BEACON SFI Bioeconomy Research Centre.    The Bioeconomy Implementation Group First Progress Report can be found at the following link Bioeconomy Implementation Group First Progress Report 

National Bioeconomy Centres & Infrastructure

The opportunity the bioeconomy presents to positively address global challenges like climate change, land and ecosystem degradation, a growing demand for food, feed, biobased materials and energy has seen significant public and private investment and scaling of activity in Ireland, building clusters of excellence and infrastructure, which in turn are generating other activity.

  • BEACON Bioeconomy Research Centre
  • Irish Bioeconomy Foundation
  • Agrichemwhey Project
  • BioConnect
  • Biorefinery Glas
  • This list is only a sample of key infrastructure activity. If you would like to add a project or activity to here please email