ReNu2Farm in Ireland’s largest environmental conference, Environ 2019

Environ is the largest environmental conference occurring annually in Ireland. The event is organised via a collaboration between the Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland and a third level education organisation that undertakes its hosting.

This year’s Environ was hosted by a ReNu2Farm partner, the Institute of Technology Carlow, between 15th and 17th of April, to occur in tandem with the ReNu2Farm project partner and progress meeting. In this way the project received a great exposure to 220 delegates including researchers from academia, industry representatives and policy makers, and to the local community and media.

The project had a significant and impressive presence in the congress offering eight communication contributions in the form of oral and poster presentations.

Specifically, oral presentations were offered by the following ReNu2Farmers:

  • Niamh Power from Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland (Closing the nutrient cycle: what are the properties required by farmers, to encourage the use of recycling-derived fertilisers in North West Europe?);
  • Laura van Scöll from the Nutrient Management Institute, The Netherlands (Circular economy framework on recycling-derived fertilisers);
  • Imke Harms from the Nutrient Management Institute, The Netherlands (Exploring the demand for recycling-derived nutrients and organic matter in Northwest Europe).

ReNu2Farm poster presentations were also offered by the following team members:

  • Lea Deinert from the University of Limerick, Ireland (Recycling-derived fertilisers as alternative to triple super phosphate in Irish grassland);
  • Anna Karpinska from Institute of Technology Carlow, Ireland (Nematode bioindicators to study the ecological impact of recycling-derived fertilisers);
  • Demi Ryan from Institute of Technology Carlow, Ireland (Analysis of the soil microbiome in response to the application of recycling-produced fertilisers under Irish grassland conditions);
  • Thomaé Kakouli-Duarte from Institute of Technology Carlow, Ireland (Nematology and the environment – a worm’s tale).

Last, but certainly not least, delegates enjoyed a plenary keynote talk by ReNu2Farm’s Prof. Erik Meers from Ghent University (Belgium) on the last day of the conference entitled “Nutrients recovered from waste (water) streams for production of mineral fertilisers”. 

Environ 2019 offered a great opportunity to communicate ReNu2Farm findings to a relevant audience and provided an extended time frame beyond and above the scheduled partner meeting for the team members to interact in a working but also social setting via the conference social event.

The ReNu2Farm partners enjoyed an extended visit to Carlow after Environ 2019 for an additional two days during which they worked to advance the project and coordinate their activities as part of the project management work package. They commenced their ReNu2Farm work and progress meeting immediately after the end of Environ 2019 on the 17th  - 18th of April. In their discussions they focussed on tracing their progress and laid a plan and targets for the next six months of the project.

Overall, this was a great opportunity to combine project outcome communication to a wide and relevant audience, but to also facilitate project progress at the same time in a constructive and stimulating setting.

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