Irish research and innovation recognised at Global OECD Forum for Green Technology

Date released: Nov 05 2009

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) yesterday praised environmental research and innovation being carried out in Ireland as some of the most interesting research presented at the Global forum on Eco-Innovation.

Dr. Micheál Lehane, Programme Manager, EPA Office of Environmental Assessment, was invited to address the event that took place in Paris this week.   He showcased the successful investment through the EPA Science, Technology, Research and Innovation (EPA STRIVE) research programme in environmental technologies in Ireland over the past number of years.  He explained how this investment in research contributes to wider economic benefits for the country, while laying the foundation for the green economy in Ireland.

Dr Lehane said:

“The EPA was invited to speak at the OECD’s Global Forum following the publication of the report Innovation for a Green Economy - Environment and Technology: A win-win story, in June of this year.  It was a unique opportunity to share the stage with global experts in the field and put Ireland on the map as a serious player in environmental research and innovation.”

The report is one of the only such reports in the world at present.  It details some exciting projects including the development of biodegradable plastic, energy from sewage treatment and an ecological high-performance computer.

The examples stem from the investment made through the EPA STRIVE programme. Since 2005 the EPA has funded 190 research and innovation projects in the technologies area, representing an investment of €30 million. This has led directly to the engagement of 200 new researchers in full-time roles. 

“The development of a smart and resilient green economy can make a significant contribution to economic recovery and growth by creating employment and export opportunities in green enterprises. It can also help existing companies in all sectors to improve their competitive position through adopting innovative environmental goods and services,” said Dr Lehane.

A survey of 18 large-scale projects funded by the EPA in 2005-2006 found that the research investment had led to wider benefits including:

  • the filing of five patents with seven additional patents in preparation,
  • nine non-disclosure agreements,
  • one licence agreement,
  • one new spin-off company.

The report Innovation for a Green Economy - Environment and Technology: A win-win story can be downloaded from the EPA website.

Further information: Niamh Leahy, EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours)