Ireland’s innovative agri-food sector gets showcase opportunity at 1st European Agrofood Sector Group meeting in Dublin

Experts from 21 European countries will gather in Dublin tomorrow (2nd October 2013) for a 2 day meeting of the Agrofood Sector Group of the Enterprise Europe Network. The meeting, co-ordinated by Enterprise Ireland, will take place in Teagasc, Ashtown. Co. Dublin.

The Agrofood Sector Group comes under the umbrella of The Enterprise Europe Network which helps small companies make the most of the business opportunities in the European Union. The group is comprised of over 50 people from 21 Enterprise Europe Network partner countries which have a high number of companies working in the agrofood sector in their region that want to improve their innovation capabilities.

The objectives of the group are to raise the innovation capacity of SMEs through the promotion of technology transfer and business cooperation and to provide feedback on the EC policies in the agrofood sector on behalf of the industry.

Experts from Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia (the Irish food board) and TEAGASC (the Irish body responsible for R&D, training and advisory services in the agri-food sector) will outline the supports available to Irish SMEs in the agri-food sector.

Speaking as the host of the Agrofood Sector Group, Jan Gerritsen, Enterprise Ireland and Co-ordinator of Enterprise Europe Network Ireland outlined what the meeting will entail; “The agrofood industry is the largest manufacturing sector in Europe. This meeting gives Irish SMEs in the agri-food sector the opportunity to reach potential business partners, suppliers and customers in 21 European countries through the 50 contact people attending the meeting of the Agrofood Sector Group”.

“In addition, Irish SMEs who wish to deal with partners in Europe can utilise the resources of the 600 partner organisations in the Enterprise Europe Network and use it as their one-stop-shop for support when doing business in Europe” said Gerritsen.

The group will hear details of two Irish agri-food industry success stories, Largo Foods and Glenisk and will take a tour of TEAGASC’s food research centre at Ashtown.

The meeting will also focus on how the Irish agri-food sector can take advantage of the substantial funding available for R&D under Horizon 2020, the EU research programme which will commence in 2014.

Ends:

Additional information on the work of the Agrofood Sector Group of the Enterprise Europe Network;

The Enterprise Europe Network is a consortium of 600 partner organisations in more than 50 countries, promoting competitiveness and innovation at local level in Europe and beyond.

The Agrofood Sector Group of the Enterprise Europe Network aims to;

  • ensure interaction among network partners with common interests in specific sectors and share knowledge and experience.
  • contribute to capacity building of group members on technical and non-technical developments in the sector.
  • actively support transnational technology transfer, by focusing our effort on the agrofood area, which is considered to be of as being of economic importance to the participant regions.
  • develop higher quality services for SMEs through the identification and promotion of high quality technology offers and requests.
  • inform the companies about the European Programmes and Policies related to with the agrofood sector.
  • feedback the EC policies in the sector through the direct communication of the SMEs technological interests and worries.
  • avoid duplicate existing initiatives related with the agrofood sector.
  • increase co-operation with other European initiatives with similar objectives in order to share knowledge and reinforce the bridges within the sector.
  • establish a common annual rolling plan with specific activities that allow accomplish with all the indicated goals.

Visit www.een-ireland.ie or http://een.ec.europa.eu/about/sector-groups/agrofood for more information

For more information contact:

Grace Labanyi
Communications Officer, Research & Innovation
Tel: +353 (0) 1 727 2746
Mobile: +353 (0) 87 3286404