Climate change-related risks are likely to impact the cost of raw material extraction and disrupt the transportation of materials in global supply-chains. Increasing the implementation of circular economy strategies, like Industrial Symbiosis (IS), can increase waste prevention and reduce costs while making Irish industry more resilient and competitive through more localised supply-chains.
Industrial Symbiosis (IS) is a collaboration between two or more geographically close organisations facilitating the exchange of waste streams. In industrial symbiosis waste or by-products of an industry or industrial process become the raw materials for another industry through developing industrial synergies.
Irish Manufacturing Research is facilitating an Industrial Symbiosis innovation demonstration pilot between St Mel’s Brewery and Panelto Food funded by the EPA’s 2019 Green Enterprise Fund. Here waste bread will be utilised as a substitute for virgin malted grain to create a new beer and subsequently a new bread will be produced using outputs from the production of the new beer creating a closed loop (bread to beer to bread). In addition, IMR are conducting a feasibility study exploring the wider industrial symbiosis opportunities in the wider Longford area.
As part of this project, Irish Manufacturing Research will also develop policy recommendations to inform the scaling up of Industrial Symbiosis in Ireland.
Dr. Geraldine Brennan