The Bernal Institute at University of Limerick has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with SkyNRG to explore the development of sustainable aviation fuel manufacturing in Ireland.
The agreement between Bernal and the Netherlands-based firm SkyNRG was signed in the presence of Dutch Minister of Trade, Sigrid Kaag, during the Dutch Royal Visit and Trade Mission at the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin this Thursday.
The Bernal Institute at UL and SkyNRG will explore the potential of a regional Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) supply chain in Ireland, with a strong focus on academic collaboration at University of Limerick.
The MoU was signed by Dr Puneet Saidha, Director of Research Office at UL on behalf of Dr Mary Shire, Vice President Research at UL, and SkyNRG CEO Maarten van Dijk and “aims to expand the relationship for research cooperation on technological, societal and market development of sustainable aviation biofuels in the Irish context”.
The collaboration emerged from the industry drive for the development of SAF production capacity and an EU-wide call to reduce aviation emissions.
“SkyNRG and Bernal agreed to explore how to stimulate an opportunity for the production of sustainable aviation fuels in Ireland,” explained Luuk van der Wielen, director of the Bernal Institute at UL.
“Apart from historic links with myself, Bernal was chosen given its strategic profile in disruptive sustainable technology development to solve global challenges especially in energy, environment and health,” he added.
SkyNRG CEO, Maarten van Dijk, said: “Sustainable aviation fuels and Ireland are potentially a perfect match. We are excited to engage with the Bernal Institute and University of Limerick on sustainable aviation fuel developments. Building new industries is all about partnering with the right people and organisations. We believe the combination of R&D and entrepreneurship is key in mobilising a broader group of stakeholders.”
Among those to witness the signing was Norah Patten, Project Manager at the Irish Composites Centre (iComp), which is hosted by The Bernal Institute at UL.
“The Bernal Institute works already on many aspects relevant for emission reduction in aviation such as lightweight composite structures,” Ms Patten said. “This collaboration will be a good complement to research at iComp.”
Patrick Barrett, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Horizon 2020 national contact point, said: “The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine co-leads on bioeconomy implementation in Ireland along with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and takes a strong interest in the SkyNRG and Bernal-UL engagement on sustainable aviation fuels supply chain development.”
The signing took place during a seminar hosted in Dublin by Bernal as part of the Dutch Royal visit entitled ‘Sustainable Renewables for Energy and Environment’.