Thursday, 25 October 2018

Ceisteanna (302)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

302. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the overview of Ireland’s involvement in the new European joint action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from animal production systems; and the resources and funding being allocated towards this project. [44521/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM) supports a broad range of research, development and innovation activities (RDI) in order to develop the efficiency, sustainability and profitability of the agri-food sector in Ireland. As part of our budget allocation, DAFM provides for the participation of eligible research performing organisations (RPOs) in relevant, strategically aligned, trans-national research initiatives.

As part of DAFM’s continuing commitment to strengthening European research collaborations, my Department contributes regularly to strategic regional actions/goals, common to a number of individual member states. These actions are most typically in the form of European Research Area Networks (ERA-NET’s), which are an established, structured and strategic process where Member States agree, on a voluntary basis and in a partnership approach, on common visions and Strategic Research Agendas (SRA) to address major societal challenges.

The current initiative (Novel technologies, solutions and systems to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of animal production systems) is based on the research findings of three established ERA - NETs (FACCE ERA - GAS, SusAn and ICT - AGRI 2) and informed by a significant number of Irish research partners participating in these co-funded programmes. Findings highlight that, in order to bridge the gap between the science and practical implementation of results, all relevant economic, social and environmental dimensions necessary to effect reductions in GHG emissions at a farm level must be incorporated. This, coupled with the urgency of this particular topic, has led to a call for applied, scientific solutions, implementable in a 5 to 10 year time frame.

Ireland’s contribution towards this Joint Call will consist of the contribution of two state funding partners, DAFM and Teagasc. In this case Teagasc will also play a leading role in the administration of the Joint Call and form part of the call secretariat. My own Department, in conjunction with all other funding partners across Europe, will be represented on the Call Steering Committee.

In terms of funding commitments, DAFM and Teagasc have pledged to commit €575,000 and €176,000 respectively (a combined contribution of up to €751,000) in funding for successful Irish participants. Under the National Call Guidelines the total combined DAFM/Teagasc public funding to eligible Irish research performing organisations (RPOs) shall not be greater than €375,500 per project. This maximum funding is comprised of €287,500 from DAFM and €88,000 from Teagasc.