TCBB's ReNEW co-ordinator, Dr Anna Piterina and WRAP Northern Ireland's Mr Martin Doherty, special adviser to the ReNEW Network, highlighting the potential of the circular economy for business
TCBB's Dr Anna Piterina and WRAP's Martin Doherty at the anchor leg of the TCBB ReNEW Network National Roadshow, Ireland

Exploring economic opportunities

ReNEW organised a number of events to help facilitate potential collaborators in the field of waste valorisation.

One of the highlights was the workshop and brokerage event, “ ReNEW your approach to resources in the circular economy: Let’s collaborate and innovate”, held in Brussels in June 2015.

A full report on the Brussels event can be found here

Just prior to this, in April, Dublin-based ReNEW partners, The Green Way and the Rediscovery Centre, hosted a seminar and roundtable discussion on the economic opportunities in resource recovery.

Organised in conjunction with the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, it was aimed at informing a white paper for submission to Government on the commercial potential of innovative resource recovery methods to drive policy development and support in this area.
Resource recovery is gaining traction as a key pillar in European environmental policy and the seminar aimed to encourage innovation and deployment of solutions by informing on best practice and stimulating national debate.

Among those taking part were Martin Doherty, from WRAP, who chaired the session “Resource Recovery – the imperative”, while Bart Bonsall, director of the Technology Centre for Biorefining and Bioenergy (TCBB) and Dr Maria Tuohy, from NUI Galway, discussed the role of research and how it can move to practical applications.

VITO’s Saskia Manshoven looked at how resource recovery has been a success in developing economic opportunities in Belgium.

Meanwhile, as part of European Week for Waste Reduction 2014, Ireland’s national Technology Centre for Biorefining & Bioenergy (TCBB) held the anchor leg of its ReNEW Network National Roadshow Ireland on 25 November 2014 at the Irish Waste Management Conference held by the Irish Waste Management Association in co-operation with CIWM Ireland.

Carton House in Maynooth Co Kildare provided the spacious, rustic surroundings for the conference and associated tradeshow.
Roadshow attendees expressed surprise at the range of possibilities highlighted for extracting more value from by-products and wastes. To that extent, it can be said that the roadshow was an effective tool to open some eyes and some minds to new possibilities for wastes.

The possibilities for gaining more value from bark for food additives and equally the biomass fuel potential from composted horse manure (with the complete absence of aroma very much noted!) was brought home for many visitors to the stand.

TCBB is grateful to Dr Anna Piterina and the TCBB research groups at UL and NUI Galway for providing the roadshow with “before” and “after” samples of wastes and residues and pre-treated materials from the research work they have carried out under ReNEW.
The other legs of the TCBB ReNEW Network National Roadshow Ireland 2014 were in Limerick for the Munster SME Business Summit on 13 November; Sligo on 28 November and concluded in Dublin with the Innovation Showcase at the National Convention Centre.