Regulator joins push for green economy for Ireland

The Irish EPA says the investment it is making in home-grown technologies is helping to drive the conversion to a low-carbon economy.

This week the regulator launched a report , Innovation for a Green Economy - Environment and Technology: A win-win story outlining how its Science, Technology, Research and Innovation (STRIVE) investment programme has supported many projects and helped Ireland maintain a competitive advantage.

It also gives advice on what the nation needs to do next to meet the economic and environmental challenges it faces.

"The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is laying the foundations for a greener economy through active support for environmental research and innovation", said Dr Mary Kelly, EPA director general, at the launch of an EPA report entitled Innovation for a Green Economy - Environment and Technology: A win-win story.

"While Ireland is facing unprecedented economic challenges, it is also the case that significant environmental challenges remain.

"The EPA STRIVE programme addresses both sets of challenges by improving the delivery of positive environmental outcomes while fostering a strong innovation culture, particularly in the environmental technologies area.

"Researchers and businesses are developing technologies that will deliver environmental benefits while improving competitiveness.

"We are confident that progress in this area can position Ireland at the forefront in one of the most rapidly growing international markets."

The environmental technologies' sector is one of the fastest growing markets internationally.

Since 2005, the EPA programme has funded in the region of 200 new researchers and innovators based in universities and industry.

The report profiles several successes and impacts of research and innovation undertaken to date.

These include high-value products from waste, energy from sewage treatment, smart filters that can remove metal ions from water, pollution sensors and a sustainable, ecological high-performance computer.

Sam Bond



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