Environmental Research Institute Launches New Strategic Plan

Ireland faces significant challenges to meet EU targets and global agreements in relation to energy, climate change, biodiversity and sustainability, according to the new strategic plan from the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) at University College Cork. The Strategic Plan 2018-2022 was launched by ERI on Monday December 4 and has made a commitment of over €44 million investment in environmental research projects in the coming three years.

More than 300 researchers are currently engaged in ERI projects that are driving the organisation’s agenda to address climate change, support the development of a circular economy, and maintain a healthy environment. ERI’s strategy for 2018 to 2022 aims to provide the necessary research and knowledge base to address current environmental challenges. Many of these challenges represent commercial opportunities for Irish businesses in the coming years to develop new technologies and services to help Ireland transition to a zero carbon and resource efficient society.

Speaking at the launch of the ERI Strategic Plan, ERI Director Professor Sarah Culloty said: “Our economies are approaching ecological limits, and we are already experiencing some of the constraints of operating outside planetary boundaries in areas such as climate change, biodiversity loss and resource depletion. We need to find new ways to reconcile our high levels of human development with environmental sustainability. Research holds the key to unlocking these major problems in very informed, practical and comprehensive ways, and we see the ERI playing a critical role in this regard. A key element of the strategic plan is working in partnership with local government, policy makers, civic society organisations and the public to co-create solutions that will ensure that our natural environment can be used sustainably to meet all our needs while providing a healthy living space.”

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Pictured above: Paul Bolger, ERI Manager; Anita Maguire, UCC VP Research & Innovation; Pat O’Shea, UCC President; and Sarah Culloty, ERI Director