About Us

A first-of-a-kind cluster in Ireland

With a focus on marine, agriculture and waste-to-value thematic areas, our goal is to develop and promote the circular bioeconomy. The cluster brings together industry, enterprises, government and research centres to deliver unique and co-created initiatives to benefit member companies.  

The cluster supports members with research and development, project development, project partner identification, talent and skills development, market connections, and funding. Be part of a thriving network in the South-West, sign up and become up a member

The importance of the Circular Bioeconomy  

Many of the products and services we use today such as food and energy are produced using unsustainable fossil resources that harm our climate, nature and society.   Our world is searching for alternative approaches that provide a fair and prosperous future for us all.

The bioeconomy offers society a path to apply knowledge, science, technology and innovation to how we use and consume resources from our soils, fields, forests and seas that respects nature and increases social equality by reducing our use of fossil resources and developing green practices, products and local jobs in places where we wish to live.

The bioeconomy will support us to value nature and be less wasteful as a society.  It will allow us to produce sustainable fertilisers for our fields and nutritious food for our healthy and active lives.  It will also offer us sustainable packaging for the goods we buy and innovative materials to both build our homes and support our industries to re-use its waste and reduce its energy use.

Why do we need a Cluster?

A cluster unlocks and accelerate business opportunities and new value chains across sectors including those of strategic important to the South-West namely marine, agriculture and industry.  

An active cluster with industry, SMEs, educational institutes, government and finance stakeholders working together towards similar goals through targeted programmes will speed up the innovation cycle, foster talent and support enterprise growth. 

Cluster Team

Catriona Power

Catriona Power

Cluster Manager 

Catriona is the Manager of Circular Bioeconomy Cluster based at Munster Technological University. The Circular Bioeconomy Cluster was established in 2021 and funded by Enterprise Ireland with the aim of supporting industry competitiveness, value creation and enterprise growth.  The cluster has over 60 company members developing new bio-based materials, products and technologies.

Over the last ten years, she has worked at the intersection of innovation, sustainable technology and policy for organisations in Ireland Canada, UK and Europe. She is a strategist, communicator and programme manager, executing complex projects and supporting companies with their business growth and circular economy strategies.

Catriona is an invited participant to Ireland’s National Bioeconomy Forum organised by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications and she is an invited participate to the Waste Advisory Group organised by Department of Environment, Climate & Communications. Catriona is on the board of FLAG South West and she is a founding member of the Irish Grown Wool Council. Catriona is a Fellow Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA), an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) judges to have made outstanding achievements to social progress and development.

Most recently, Catriona was VP Partnerships and Strategy for Foresight Cleantech Accelerator in Canada, leading on the development of a Cleantech Cluster Model for the Province of British Columbia and sectoral roadmaps for a zero-carbon economy.  She has an MA Environment, Development and Policy from the University of Sussex, UK and a BSc International Development and Food Policy from University College Cork, Ireland. 

Stephen Barry Hannon

Senior Researcher & Project Manager 

Stephen is a Senior Researcher and Project Manager at the Circular Bioeconomy Cluster South West based at Kerry Campus, Munster Technological University. 

Stephen leads on the Target Circular and BioDirect projects. In Target Circular, he has developed tools that aid SME’s in developing sustainable models and enabling them to make better decisions and he works on bioeconomy value chain analysis of key sectors in Ireland. Stephen is the project manager of the All-island project BioDirect, which enables cross border and cross industry collaboration. The project is focused on four sectors of the All Island economy including Construction, Textiles, Agriculture, and Packaging. Before joining the cluster he led multi-stakeholder projects in marketing, communications, and event and business systems projects working in the charity, hospitality, manufacturing, and education sectors. 

Advisory Group 

Dr. Helena McMahon, Director of IKC3 & Co-Founder of CircBio Research Group, Munster Technological University

Cal Flynn, Research and Development, Kerry Group

Michael O’Neill, CEO, Pure Ocean Algae

Enda Buckley, Director of Sustainability, Carbery Group

Garrett Dillon, General Manager, Dillon Waste

Catherine Butler, Shellfish and Innovation Executive, Bord Iascaigh Mhaira 

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