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Forestry Sector

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 18 November 2021

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Ceisteanna (353)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

353. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the proposals there are to intensify co-operation with international forestry organisations in relation to research projects which could be carried out in Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56768/21]

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 to develop the efficiency, sustainability and profitability of the forest sector in Ireland.

Our research programmes provide for the participation of eligible research performing organisations in forestry research including through international collaboration.

In particular, DAFM supports research under the European Research Area Networks (ERA-NETs), which are an established, structured and strategic process where Member States agree, on a voluntary basis and in a partnership to support international collaborative research.

The objective of the current ERA-NET co-fund Action ‘ForestValue – Innovating forest-based bioeconomy’ is to promote increased innovation and competitiveness of the forest-based sector in Europe. Sustainability and modernisation of forestry systems and downstream value chains including innovative business concepts and production technologies will be needed to develop the forestry sector and the European bioeconomy, of which forestry accounts for a large share.

The “ForestValue ” consortium, of which my Department is a member, consists of 30 partners from different regions as well as second and third countries. One hundred and two research proposals sought funding. Following peer review and the ranking of proposals by a panel of international experts, the Call Steering Committee selected 17 proposals which were recommended for funding.

In addition, my Department, through its national competitive funding programme, also provides collaborative opportunities through direct co-funding with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Northern Ireland and inclusion of other international partners on a self-funding basis.

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