Biotech 2016
Speakers at the event, (L-R) Michael Doran, Paul Cairns, Jim Clarke, John Martin, Stewart Cameron and Barry Caslin

Speakers at the event, (L-R) Michael Doran, Paul Cairns, Jim Clarke, John Martin, Stewart Cameron and Barry Caslin

We held our BioTech 2016 event, in association with Biomass Energy Northern Ireland (BENI), on Friday 21st October in CREST. The event was a huge success and we were delighted with the turnout of people.

We hope that everyone enjoyed the day and took something from the event – it was clear from both the speakers and indeed guests that there needs to be progress made with incentivising renewable energy, and biomass in particular. This is an even bigger focus for the Republic of Ireland where the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has yet to be introduced, causing a stagnant phase in the renewable energy sector in the ROI.

However it is also clear that there are many opportunities in biomass – for example with brash harvesting, for growers to supply power stations with a more sustainable fuel, and indeed opportunities in creating thermal energy from biomass. Thermal energy is an important strand of renewable energy generation, as electricity production is now –  relatively – easy to generate through both wind and solar power.

There are also many opportunities available for businesses to develop ideas and products, as well as developing their skills, knowledge and understanding of certain topics. These developments and learning opportunities are available through many funding prospects, such as the Innovation Voucher scheme or the Employer Support Programme.

We would also like to extend a special word of thanks to all our speakers;

Aaron Black, InnoTech Centre
John Martin, BENI who chaired the event
Michael Doran, Action Renewables & IrBEA
Barry Caslin, Teagasc
Stewart Cameron, Glendale Tree Services
Jim Clarke, Invest Northern Ireland
and our very own Paul Cairns, CREST and event organiser

A further message of appreciation to BENI members Stewart Cameron for bringing along his Industrial Wood Chipper and giving a live demonstration, and to Tom and Mary Hegan of Hegan Farms Ltd, for supplying the logs to be chipped.

It was a great day – we hope that everyone enjoyed it and will be encouraged to continue their own innovations in biomass!