Announcement of Waste to Value Bioeconomy Project for Irish Wool 

The Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine have awarded a project to Review of Potential Demand in Domestic and International Markets for Wool based Products such as Insulation and Fertilisers  to a consortium of commercial entities and academic researchers. 

Tralee, Kerry – Munster Technological University has joined forces with The Agile Executive, Donegal Yarns and Eur Digital Village on this new project.  

Irish wool is a natural, sustainable, low carbon, organic and renewable material that can be used in a wide range of products like biofertilser, insulation, packaging and certain textiles, replacing harmful fossil-based materials and substituting for imported products. However, today, Irish wool and its by-products are an undervalued resource. This project aims to address this challenge by identifying actions and informing the government on a roadmap to support both the wool industry and primary producers.  

This project builds on existing activities in Ireland and experts will be engaged from Comharchumann Uan Chiarraí Teo (Kerry Lamb & Wool Co-op), The Agile Executive, Udaras na Gaeltachta, The Galway Wool Co-op, Eur Digital Village and Munster Technological University, namely Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre, Circular Bioeconomy Cluster South-West and the CircBio Research Group who are all working to support the indigenous wool industry across the island.  

As a sheep farmer myself, I am only too aware of the challenges and issues facing the wool sector. That’s why I am delighted to announce the appointment of The Agile Executive to conduct this review which I expect to be completed in the first quarter of 2022. I believe the report, when produced, will assist me in developing a roadmap for the Irish Wool Industry and will assist in shaping future policy on wool as envisaged by me in the Programme for Government.” Minister Pippa Hackett, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine 

At Munster Technological University we have been helping Irish companies to generate value from waste and by-products for over a decade. The Circular Bioeconomy Cluster South-West Cluster, Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre & CircBio Research Group, deliver for SMEs to identify opportunities and convene projects to transform biological materials, waste and by-products into a value-add biobased products within the context of a circular economy”. Catriona Power, Circular Bioeconomy Cluster South-West, Munster Technological University  

“We are delighted to be appointed by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to this very important project. This is an opportunity to work with key industry stakeholders and primary producers to identify new opportunities to create value-add products from Irish wool that are environmentally and economically sustainable and further contribute to the Irish Circular Bioeconomy.” Patrick Byrne, Consortium Lead at the Agile Executive  

“Támíd lán sasta a bheith páirteach leis an staidéar taighde seo. Tá díomá ar ár mbaill go bhfuil orthu ár olann dhíol ar feadh cúpla cent an cileagram. Tá súil again go neirigh leis an tionscadal Seo”.   Micheál Ó Moáin Rúnaí Comharchumann Uan Chiarraí Teo 

“As a sheep farmer and member of the Galway Wool Co-op it is very encouraging to see this initiative aimed at creating a positive future for Irish wool. It is a pity to see Irish Wool being undervalued given the pride that past generations of farmers took in wool production. This review is a welcome development for sheep farmers as it will investigate new opportunities for wool producing communities all over Ireland.” Matthew Carroll, Sheep Farmer & Galway Wool Co-op Member