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Coughlan announces award of €4.5 million in R&D grants

Research Proposals covering bioenergy and agri-environment to be grant assisted

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan TD, today announced details of 12 research projects that have been awarded grant assistance totalling €4.5 million under the 2005 Research Stimulus Fund.

The Minister said that the selected research projects cover a broad range of areas including agri-environment, non-food crops and agri-food economics. Most of the projects will be of three years duration and will involve inter-institutional collaboration. The research involved will be of a 'public good' nature and the results will be made freely available.

The Minister was pleased that three research projects relating to biofuels and energy crops were selected for assistance. This is an area of particular interest due to the environmental advantages of biofuels, the increasing cost of fossil fuels, and the opportunity farmers now have to explore alternative farm enterprises.

Minister Coughlan said that the projects now being funded should produce benefits not only for producers but for the wider rural community. They will also contribute to improved collaboration between various research institutions and to the establishment of critical mass in certain research areas.

Under the Research Stimulus Fund institutions with an established research capacity were invited in 2005 to submit proposals for projects in the areas of Agri-environment; Non-food crops and Agri-food economics.

Twenty-six applications were received and these were evaluated by expert panels and submitted to the Research Stimulus Fund Committee for consideration and approval.

A list of the projects grant aided is attached.

7 February 2006

Effects of Stocking Rate and Grazing Season Length on Nitrate Leaching from a Vulnerable Soil Type Teagasc, UCD €740,735
Development of a Strategy (E-Supply) integrating both liquid and solid biofuels to support the evolution of a non-food crops sector for Irish agriculture UCD, UL €130,613
Assessment of a solid-liquid separation system for pig manure and the influence of pig diet on composition of solid and liquid fractions Teagasc, UCD €394,250
An Examination of the Implications of Milk Quota Reform on the Viability and Productivity of Dairy Farming in Ireland Teagasc, UCD €203,125
An Examination of the Contribution of Off-Farm Income to the Viability and Sustainability of Farm Households and the Productivity of Farm Businesses Teagasc, ESRI, FAS €188,180
An Examination of the Productivity of Irish Agriculture in a decoupled Policy Environment Teagasc, TCD €175,433
Efficient and Reliable Utilisation of Nutrients in Animal Manures Teagasc, UCD €599,336
An Evaluation of Strategies to Control Ammonia Emissions from the Land Spreading of Cattle Slurry and Cattle Wintering Facilities Teagasc, UCD €434,961
Development of a new nutraceutical and pharmaceutical crop for Ireland UCC, Teagasc €414,151
The Role of Energy Crops in Energy Supply, Effluent Disposal and Soil Remediation Teagasc,
Carlow I.T.
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Beef Production Systems UCD, Teagasc €513,548
A Sustainable Strategy for Bioethanol Production in Ireland NUI Galway, Teagasc €393,802

Date Released: 07 February 2006