The European Commision has granted €22 million in funding to a project led by Glanbia Ireland, which aims to find a method to convert by-products from dairy production into bio-based products such as biodegradable plastic.
The project will help to fund the development of Glanbia’s bio-refinery in Lisheen, Tipperary into a facility which can convert by-products such as excess whey permeate (WP) and delactosed whey permeate (DLP) into sustainable lactic acid, which can then be used to produce biodegradable materials.
Glanbia has partnered with University Collge Dublin (UCD), Trinity College Dublin and others to fund the project, and the total amount of funding from all partners has now reached €30 million following the €22 million grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
The AgriChemWhey project is based on research initially carried out by the Science Foundation Ireland-funded Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research (AMBER) Centre.
According to UCD, Glanbia’s technology will result in less food waste and provide “both the dairy industry and wider society with an opportunity for greater resource efficiency.”
Jim Bergin, CEO, Glanbia Ireland said: “We are very excited about this R&D project which has the potential to harness the potential of by-products from the dairy processing stream and to create a circular bio-economy for the dairy industry.
“I would like to thank our partners who have contributed to the project so far and most particularly, our funding partner, the BBI JU. We look forward to working together and to taking the project forward to its next phase of development.”
Professor Orla Feely, UCD vice-president for research, innovation and impact added: “I warmly welcome today’s announcement by Commissioner Phil Hogan of €22 million in funding, under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme, for AgriChemWhey, a new collaborative bioeconomy research project.”
“AgriChemWhey has its foundations in University College Dublin’s long standing research and innovation partnership with Glanbia Ireland and UCD’s research expertise in social and environmental sustainability will be a significant component of the project.”
Commissioner for agriculture and rural development Phil Hogan said: “I am very pleased to see this project receive funding under the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking.
AgriChemWhey is a highly innovative research project, which if successful, will serve as a flagship for Europe’s growing bio-economy, contributing towards a more resource efficient European dairy sector, with enormous potential for replication in other areas across Europe, while also providing a boost to jobs and growth in Europe’s rural economy.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020