Lárionad Acmhainní Nádúrtha CTR, an Údarás na Gaeltachta (Donegal Digital partner) client in the Donegal Gaeltacht, will form part of a €3.1m research project to diversify plant-protein production across the island of Ireland. The Protein-I project, which will be part-based in An Fál Carrach in Co. Donegal, aims to co-design pathways to support sustainable value chains that also benefit rural communities. 

Funding for this new initiative was announced by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. this week. Protein-I will bring together six research organisations – UCD, Teagasc, NUI Galway, UCC, Ulster University and Queen's University Belfast. 

The five-year project will focus on plant production through to human health, while paying particular attention to the development of Ireland’s rural bio-economy. Partners will test emerging sensor technologies and they will establish a smart supply-chain-technology solution that will be tailored to the current needs of the agri-food industry in Donegal and Ireland.   

Welcoming the announcement, Professor Fiona Doohan of University College Dublin explained that the Protein-I will evaluate crop-based value chains to ensure that rural communities benefit from it. "We will develop strategies to maximise sustainable plant protein production in a traceable and transparent way, and promote the uptake of such strategies in rural communities.”

The project will see the co-design of consumer-led approaches to diversify plant protein intake, model the impact among the population, and perform human interventions to demonstrate efficacy in terms of achieving adequate nutrition and improved health. 

Speaking about the announcement Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Chief Executive Officer and Donegal Digital partner Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh said: “Údarás na Gaeltachta is committed to supporting businesses that seek to innovate while also ensuring that climate change and sustainability are to the forefront of any project.”


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Contact: Ianire Renobales
Email: ianire.renobales@ernact.eu

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