Innovation for a Green Economy - Environment and Technology: A win-win story

Summary: ‘INNOVATION FOR A GREEN ECONOMY’ is a non-technical report giving a brief snapshot of the story so far with regard to EPA-funded Environmental Technologies and Cleaner Production research and innovation projects along with details of the next steps in the area.

Published: 2009

ISBN: 978-1-84095-302-2

Pages: 72

Filesize: 1,650KB

Format: pdf

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The Government’s Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (SSTI) has set out a vision to make Ireland internationally renowned for the excellence of its research and to be a leader in using new knowledge for economic and social progress. This is also reflected in the recent Government paper, Building Ireland’s Smart Economy, which sets out a framework for economic renewal, based on the principles of sustainable development. The strategy addresses green-collar job creation and identifies ‘enhancing the environment and securing energy supplies’ as a priority action area.

The current economic circumstances facing Ireland and the wider global economy provide a challenging background for the development of new technologies. Reduced wealth will impact on funding both from public and business expenditure and from venture capital sources. There are, however, some opportunities presented by the current situation for the environmental goods and services sector including:

  • A pressing drive for efficiency in resource and energy use;
  • An urgent requirement to develop new business sectors and niches;
  • The renewed importance of indigenous (environment-dependent) sectors such as food, and tourism, and of local-scale enterprise.
  • Environmental technologies represent a key part of delivering on the objectives of Ireland’s Smart Economy. These are cleaner and resource-efficient technologies that can decrease material inputs, reduce energy consumption and emissions, recover valuable by-products, minimise waste disposal problems, or some combination of these. The EPA, via its STRIVE (Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for the Environment) programme, is among the main bodies fostering growth in this area through the provision of funding for research and innovation in environmental technologies and in the related area of cleaner production.

‘INNOVATION FOR A GREEN ECONOMY’ is a non-technical report giving a brief snapshot of the story so far with regard to EPA-funded Environmental Technologies and Cleaner Production research and innovation projects along with details of the next steps in the area. The report highlights the type and variety of the environmental technologies research funded by the EPA, ranging from academic-based (scholarships and multi-institutional collaborative projects) to industrial-based and business-led cleaner production projects.

This report profiles a number of projects that typify the technology research supported by the EPA research programme. The profiles highlight the many successes and impacts of research and innovation supported by the EPA research programme and undertaken on the island of Ireland to date. Since the formal establishment of ‘Environmental Technologies’ as a theme in 2005, the EPA has made commitments of €30 million to academic researchers and industrial innovators and has funded in the region of 200 new researchers (Doctoral, Masters, Postdoctoral researchers) supervised by 150 Principal Investigators.

To order a copy of this report, please contact the EPA Publications Office:

Telephone: (053) 9160600
E-mail: publications@epa.ie