Galway start-up gets €2.8m EU green tech R&D grant

23 Apr 2012

Galway-based green-tech company Cellulac has been approved for a record €2.8m grant from the European Commission to commercialise its biorefining technology that converts agricultural waste into lactic acid.

Cellulac will create 14 high quality jobs and will be recruiting graduates from the life sciences and engineering sectors to grow its research base in Ireland.

Cellulac is an Enterprise Ireland high potential start-up (HPSU).

The agency supported the company in its bid for this significant grant.

Lactic acid is used in cosmetics, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, biodegradable plastics and other industrial sectors.

Biorefining: a new high-growth industry

Biorefining is a growing €4bn per annum market and is expanding at a rate of 19pc each year.

The EU grant approval, which will anchor a consortium of funding from State, institutional and private investors, will be used to prove mass production capability.

Possible locations for the demonstration plant – where lactic acid will be produced at an industrial level with the goal of licensing the technology world wide – are currently being scouted in Ireland and the EU.

“The size of the EU Commission grant for the Cellulac project indicates the high-commercial potential of the finished product – Lactic acid – and the importance of biorefining as a future growth industry,” said Seán Sherlock, TD, Minister for Research and Innovation.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years