Launch of 10 All-Island BIODIRECT Challenges: Match-making Circular and Bioeconomy Solutions across Industries

The Circular Bioeconomy Cluster is delighted to announce the launch of ten BioDirect All-Island Bioeconomy Innovation Challenges across Agriculture, Construction, Packaging and Textile sectors.

Today, major companies, alliances and representative organisations including Kingspan, Dawn Meats, ABP Food Group, High Performance Building Alliance, Arcology System, Saint Vincent de Paul, Donegal Yarns, Ferguson’s Linen, Ulster Farmer’s Union and ATIM Cluster announce their specific circular and bioeconomy challenges.

Through their involvement in the BioDirect initiative, they are scouting for collaborators with circular and bioeconomy innovation, technologies and products to address their challenges.

The BioDirect initiative is led by Circular Bioeconomy Cluster at Munster Technological University who have joined forces with Queen’s University Belfast, atim Cluster, Ulster University and AgriTech Ireland Cluster to accelerate uptake of bio-based products across sectors.

The Challenges

  • ABP Food Group
    Bio-digestate Higher Value Valorisation and Market Development for Products
  • Ulster Farmers Union
    Digital Solution for Fertiliser Decision Support Tool
  • Kingspan
    Required specifications for biomaterial-based insulation
    Life and End-of-Life considerations for materials
    Use of side/waste bio-streams to provide bio-based pre-cursors for polymer foams.
  • High Performance Building Alliance & Arcology System
    High-Performance Integrated Design Challenge: Modular, adaptable and Circular Biomaterials for Sustainable and High-Performance Commercial and Residential Interiors, Ideal for New Construction and Retrofitting
  • Donegal Yarns & Fergusons Linen
    Exploring and developing bio-based dyes for use in natural fibres including wool and linen for textiles
  • St Vincent De Paul
    Circular economy process to deal with end-of-life textiles on the Island
  • Dawn Meats
    High barrier flexible films for food packaging made from recycled and recyclable materials
  • ATIM Cluster
    Circularising and Recycling Plastic Waste in Irish Healthcare Settings

Accelerating Collaboration and Innovation

The challenges are open to the innovation community including start-ups, SMEs, researchers and large companies to share their solutions, whether that be processes, products or technologies. Detailed information on each challenge, submission guidelines, and deadlines can be found on the BioDirect website at

An evaluation jury, comprised of challenge leads and the project partners, will review the solution providers to determine suitability. If selected, the solution providers will receive:

  • 1:1 discussion with the challenge owner
  • 1:1 support about funding opportunities to develop a project
  • Mentorship to realise your solution
  • Circular Economy Business Training
  • Opportunity to be selected to speak at the All-Island BioDirect Summit September 4th
  • Opportunity to display your company / institute at the All-Island BioDirect Summit September 4th

The deadline for submissions is 5th August, all information can be found on the Circular Bioeconomy Cluster website:

The expected results of the project will be greater market awareness of bio-based product availability for key sectors in Ireland, cross border collaboration between companies and identified areas of high commercial potential for further research and development.

BIODIRECT is funded by the InterTradeIreland Synergy Programme which aims to scale cross-border collaboration, using cluster and network development supports to increase the impact of programmes with economic benefit to Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Shane Kennedy ABP Food Group, Group Resource Efficiency Manager – “ABP Food Group is proud to announce our collaboration with the Circular Bioeconomy Cluster. This strategic partnership underscores ABP’s commitment to sustainable practices. Our involvement is driven by the urgent need to create more sustainable food production systems. This collaboration will not only benefit the environment but also enhance the economic viability of the bioeconomy sector”

Collette van Jaarsveld CEO of Arcology System in partnership with High-Performance Building Alliance shared – “Arcology System and High-Performance Building Alliance (HPBA) are excited to work with the Circular Bioeconomy Cluster within the construction challenge. With construction and demolition waste accounting for 40% of total waste in Ireland, there’s a pressing need for circular high-performing biomaterials and design-for-disassembly systems, reducing waste and extending the lifespan of building components, especially in fit-out projects where adaptation and changes are ongoing. The HPBA, Green Hub in Senan House, Enniscorthy will act as a living lab demonstrator of these technologies, showcasing modular, adaptable, and sustainable building practices. By creating data-driven interior spaces that act as ‘material banks’, we enhance resource efficiency and promote circular economy principles, paving the way for a more resilient built environment.”

Catriona Power, Manager of Circular Bioeconomy Cluster – “We are delighted to launch the BioDirect Challenges and see cross border companies and representative organisations embracing open innovation and collaboration to integrate sustainable solutions into their supply chains. So far, over the course of six months, we’ve had successful engagement with 100 businesses and public sector stakeholders across the four sectors, building networks, identifying challenges and bridging the knowledge gaps. We look forward to supporting collaboration opportunities between solution providers and challenge owners.”