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Minister Creed Announces Funding of €11m for Innovation Projects

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. today announced the results of a competitive process to select the successful proposals to be funded under the European Innovation Partnerships Initiative (EIP).  Projects developed under this open call are developed by Operational Groups which will be funded under Ireland’s Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020. 

 The Minister commented

 “I am delighted to announce the 12 successful projects today under this scheme. These exciting projects will deliver novel solutions to challenges facing the Irish agri-food sector and the rural economy. They align well with our RDP and national priorities particularly on environmental sustainability. The exciting range of projects selected will address challenges such as biodiversity, profitability and sustainability, and will harness the creativity and resourcefulness which is the hallmark of Ireland’s rural sector”.

 The key elements of EIP include the identification of challenges in the sector and  the development of innovative solutions by people who are already involved in the sector.  They fund co-operation between different stakeholders including farmers, researchers, advisors and businesses. The EIP requires that projects are centred around an Operational Group, which brings together actors such as farmers, researchers, advisors and agri businesses to identify innovative solutions to particular challenges.

 The Minister added

“Today’s announcement sees funding of approximately €11m being allocated to 12 new EIPs. This was an exceptionally competitive process and all projects were thorough assessment process to identify the best schemes. In each case, innovative ideas have been developed from the bottom up, by people currently working in the sector.  These projects offer great potential to help us to build on the success of the agri-food sector in recent years, and to address some of the remaining challenges with fresh approaches.”

 Note for Editors

Round 1 of the EIP competitive process started in December, 2016 with an initial open call for ideas using a simple application form.  Proposals were evaluated by a committee against qualitative criteria including relevance to the EIP programme, the innovativeness of the proposed approach, and compatibility with Rural Development Programme priorities.  This generated a shortlist of 23 applicants chosen to go forward to Round 2.  These applications were funded to prepare detailed project plans. Following assessment of these plans, 12 projects have now been selected for implementation on the ground, with up to 100% funding provided under the new initiative.  

The second of two calls under this initiative issued in August, 2017 and submitted proposals are currently under consideration. An overall funding package of €24 million has been set aside to support EIPs under these two calls.   

 Information on the European Innovation Partnership initiative can be accessed on the Department website at or by contacting


Details of the proposals approved for full implementation are set out in the table below.

Name of Project

Project Overview


Blackstairs Farming Futures

Sustainable farming project  in the Blackstairs Mountains

Carlow / Wexford


Biodiversity Regeneration in a Dairying Environment (BRIDE Project)

Cork / Kerry

Caomhnú Arann

Managing the habitats of the Aran Islands to maximise their agricultural and ecological output


DANU Farming Group

Project plan for a biological farming transition programme


The Duncannon Blue Flag Farming and Communities Scheme

Sustainable Farming Scheme


Enable Conservation Tillage

Wider adoption of sustainable conservation tillage systems


Biomass To Biochar For  Farm Bioeconomy

Biomass to Bio-carbon for farm Bio-economy (BBFB)

Limerick / Clare

The Conservation of breeding Curlew in Ireland

Conservation of Breeding Curlew in Ireland

Galway / Midlands

A Sustainable Agricultural Plan for the MacGillycuddy Reeks utilising a Collective Farm Management Approach

Conservation and restoration of Upland Habitat in the MacGillycuddy Reeks

Cork / Kerry

MOPS (Maximising Organic Production Systems)

Maximising organic production through integrated cropping systems


Ovi Data

Increasing sheep genetic gain in Ireland through scientific data capture and analysis

Cork / Kerry

Sustainable Uplands Agri-environment Scheme (SUAS)

Addressing  the complex agricultural, environmental and socio-economic challenges associated with the land management of the Wicklow/Dublin uplands

Dublin / Wicklow





Date Released: 22 December 2017