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News Archive 2013

ANALYSIS: Accountability for food waste becomes easier to digest

News that half the world's food supply may be going to waste has raised serious questions around our ability to manage this most essential subsistence at every point in the value chain.

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Moving in with energy efficiency

The Government is tackling the UK's building emissions challenge in the residential sector through the Green Deal and ECO. But what about the non-residential side - commercial and industrial buildings in particular, asks Alex Savidis.

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Crown Estate to invest £20m in marine energy

The Crown Estate is gearing up to invest £20m into the UK's first wave and tidal stream array projects, in support of the emerging industry.

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First turbine installed at Teeside offshore windfarm

The first UK offshore development undertaken by EDF Energy Renewables has seen the installation of its first turbine at its Teeside offshore windfarm

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Call for 'Expressions of Commitment' to European Innovation Partnership for Water

The operational phase of the European Innovation Partnership for Water (Water EIP) has been underway since mid-December 2012, with the launch of a Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP). The Call for ‘Expressions of Commitment’ to form Action Groups for the Water EIP will close on 4th April 2013.

Details are available at

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UK public fully on board with renewable energy mission

Generating electricity, fuel and heat through the use of renewable energy is supported by 79% of the UK public, with just 4% opposed, according to a government survey published today.

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UK's first integrated hydrogen transport system to be built

A consortium of companies will begin work on a three year project to create the UK's first hydrogen powered transport system across London and the South East.

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River basin management plan consultation

 If you are interested in, or affected by the water environment and the way it is managed, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency would welcome your input in the development of the second cycle plan for 2015-2021.

The consultation ends on 22 June 2013.

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Council urges tea drinkers to choose `green`

Our love of tea is costing the environment and ratepayers £76,000 per year.

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NI Water researcher Beatrice begins new lecturing post at QUB Mechanical Engineering  

ATWARM experienced researcher Dr Beatrice Smyth has completed her project delivering the “Design and introduction of a carbon accounting system to Northern Ireland Water”. She will now join Queens University Belfast as a lecturer in Mechanical Engineering working with Prof. Roy Douglas. The overall ATWARM project finishes in November 2013 and all of the ATWARM fellows and management team wish Beatrice every success in her new role.

To learn a little more, see the latest post on the ATWARM blog and check out the dissemination material from each ATWARM fellow at

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RENEW - REsource innovation Network for European Waste

The QUESTOR Centre at QUB will lead a consortium of partners from Belgium, Germany, Ireland and Northern Ireland to deliver a new European collaborative project that will have a significant impact in Northern Ireland.

Kicking off in January 2013, RENEW – REsource innovation Network for European Waste – is a €4.88 million project, funded at a rate of 50% (€2.44 million) by the Interreg IVB North West Europe scheme. It was ranked 2nd out of 20 projects evaluated in September 2012.

RENEW will form a transnational, cross-sector ‘waste innovation network’. It will engage representatives from public authorities, the private sector, research organisations and universities from across NWE to promote resource recovery from waste.

The partnership will examine likely future markets and pathways to market for recovered resources from waste. Transnational teams will promote and demonstrate technologies for the recovery of valuable materials - metals, nutrients and chemicals - from organic and inorganic waste streams.

The project also aims to provide renewed mechanisms for entrepreneurs in the waste sector to access innovation support, training and exploitation opportunities, and make the most of exciting and new business connections.

The RENEW objectives are to:

  • Increase planning and innovation in waste transformation and resource recovery for the needs of future markets.
  • Share transnational best practice and improve specific support to meet the innovation needs of the waste sector.
  • Demonstrate technological innovations in processing waste at pilot-scale for extraction of value-added materials.
  • Expedite commercialisation and exploitation of processes and products.


Northern Ireland:

  • QUESTOR, QUB – Lead Partner
  • Belfast City Council, Waste Management Team
  • Dept. of Environment N.Ireland, Environmental Policy Division


  • Technology Centre for Bio-refining and Bio-energy & Univ. of Limerick
  • Sustainable Energy Agency Ireland


  • Cologne Univ. of Applied Sciences
  • Univ. of Duisburg Essen


  • VITO
  • Univ. of Liege


50% matched funding for QUB from DOE/DfP, and additionally from DEL, EPSRC and QUB is gratefully acknowledged.

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Poll shows 'overwhelming request' for low carbon future

A recent poll has revealed that 78% of people want low carbon sources to power Britain in the future, with nuclear power coming top of the list with 26%.

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Scottish food and drink sector cooks up first sustainability strategy

The Scottish food and drink industry has laid out its sustainability ambition through a cross-industry strategy.

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Environment Agency to publish delayed CRC league table next week

The Environment Agency (EA) has confirmed that the delayed Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) performance league table will be published on the 26th February following a five month delay.

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Department of Environment hosting  EU funding stakeholder workshop

In preparation for a range of new EU funding programmes due to be introduced in 2014, the Department of Environment is hosting a free stakeholder workshop, which will take place on Wednesday 27 March 2013 in the Conference Hall at the Agri-Food and Bioscience Institute, Hillsborough.

To reserve your place please contact the DOE Barroso Team at:

For progamme details click here

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Use of apps could save waste industry millions

Waste management companies could save thousands of pounds if they invest in mobile phones that can hold their data instead of relying on paper, an expert has claimed.

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Conference notice: Water - the greatest global challenge, 14-16th May 2013 at The Helix, DCU

A networking event to discuss future collaborative innovations for our shared environment.

The conference will highlight innovations in water quality management that have been developed and demonstrated by a team of research fellows under the FP7 Marie Curie project, ATWARM.

It will also include a Brokerage Event to manage dedicated business contacts on Wednesday 15th May from 2pm to 5pm.

To view the schedule and register for the event, please visit

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QUESTOR - Mid-west Steel Ltd FUSION completion

QUESTOR have successfully completed a 12 month FUSION partnership with Mid-West Steel Ltd, based near Silvermines in County Tipperary.

Simon Murray from QUESTOR worked with the company on the project, which investigated the gasification of waste vehicle tyres. Work included the optimisation of the process conditions to ensure maximum value of the gasification products. The company hopes to use the outputs of the project to help secure funding for a €4 million investment, which will see them construct a full scale plant, capable of processing 20 tonnes of waste tyres per day.

For more details on the FUSION scheme, and how companies can get involved, contact the QUESTOR Centre, or visit

In the photo Leon Agnew (FUSION Consultant) presents Tom Creagh of Mid-West Steel with a certificate marking the successful completion of the project. Also pictured is Alan Creagh and Anthony O’Riordan, also of Mid-West Steel.

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CASE presenting and exhibiting at SustainEx2013

SustainEX in association with Invest NI are bringing to you, what is set to be one of the most comprehensive exhibitions. Encouraging better resource efficiency through effective use of energy, environmental and waste management technologies aimed at the small to medium business sector.

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Renewable firms to benefit from QUESTOR and South West College partnership

QUESTOR and South West College have confirmed details of a collaboration that will enable local firms to improve competition in the high growth renewable energy sector.

The environmental research and innovation partnership is an agreement between the college’s InnoTech Centre and The QUESTOR Centre at Queen’s and will focus on Energy from Biomass with potential for expansion in other sectors. It is a result of ongoing collaboration co-ordinated through the DEL Connected Programme.

The partnership propose the installation of new shared facilities, including the up-grading of existing laboratories at QUESTOR and further capitalisation of a full Scale Anaerobic Digestion Demonstration Facility located near Omagh, with the development of a dedicated test facility at the College’s Skills Centre in Enniskillen.

By pooling their resources, both organisations will provide high quality technical services in a wider range ofdisciplines to support local companies and accelerate commercial exploitation of new ideas and processes.

Malachy McAleer, South West College Director said the collaboration would be a catalyst to accelerate economic development: “Innovation is critical for the continued growth of the renewable sector. Northern Irish companies in the clean and green sector require dedicated R&D support if we are to achieve ambitious targets for renewable energy and develop ideas into products, profit and jobs.

This unique collaborative partnership brings together the expertise and recourses of two centres of R&D excellence with the Higher and Further Educations sectors with distinct areas of economic development expertise. The combined knowledge of both can provide a coherent service capable of meeting industry needs and bridging a known technology transfer gap.”

Dr Wilson McGarel, Director of QUESTOR said smart collaboration will help build and sustain competitiveness in a lucrative sector: “The primary purpose of the proposed collaboration between the QUESTOR Centre and the InnoTech Centre is to bridge a technology transfer gap in Northern Ireland by providing focus, joint facilities and resources that can enhance and sustain the competitiveness of existing and emerging businesses in the renewable energy sector.”

“Northern Ireland is a small region and can only afford to invest shrewdly in support of key niche areas where companies can act quickly and compete globally if innovation is coordinated. Energy from Biomass is one of the key niche areas where smart investment can lead to significant growth, wealth creation and increased employment.”

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Less than two weeks to the ReNEW Technology Foresight Workshops

ReNEW - Resource innovation network for European waste

A few places are still available at the forthcoming workshops near Cologne, Germany 23-24th April.  Registration is FREE for the workshops, which will cover the status and needs of technological innovations for recovery of resources from organic and inorganic waste streams, and requirements for innovation facilities, best practice and support for the waste sector.  Click here for further information and registration details.

QUESTOR at Queen’s University Belfast, in association with partners in Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Germany, recently launched the €4.8M ReNEW project ( with 50% funding through Interreg IVb NWE.

ReNEW focuses on the development of a network that will deliver innovations for recovery of valuable materials from waste.

Throughout the project we will engage with stakeholders from all partner regions, who are active in the waste supply chain.

Stakeholder benefits will include access to:

•             Expertise and innovations from participating regions

•             Knowledge of best practice from other regions

•             Networking and events with stakeholders across Europe

More information is provided in the attached flyer.

Become a stakeholder on the ReNEW project by contacting

Dr Elaine Groom(ReNEW Coordinator):

Patricia McCrory(ReNEW Communications):

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Register now for “Water – the greatest global challenge”

14th–16th May 2013, at the Helix, Dublin City University

This conference will look at the future global concerns for the water sector and has attracted a number of high profile speakers, both from industry, academia and government bodies. An EEN Brokerage Event will feature on the second day of the conference –providing an opportunity to arrange 1-1 business meetings. Prior registration is required at (before1st May 2013)

Speakers at the conference include:

John Tierney, CEO Irish Water

Robert Schröder, European Commission DG Environment

Joe Higgins, Veolia

Martin Curley, Vice President of Intel Corporation

Richard Elelman, Netwerc H2O

Denis Gray, North Carolina State University, National Science Foundation, USA

Mark Oelmann, Economics Institute, Ruhr University West, Germany

Theresa Kearney, Northern Ireland Environment Agency

Alice Wemaere, Environmental Protection Agency (Ireland)

Jane Watkins, Beta Technology, UK

Jennifer Brennan, Marie Curie National Contact Point, Ireland

Marcelo Morgado, ABES - Brazilian Association of Sanitation Engineering

Haiyan Pei, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shandong University, China

Peter Wolfmeyer, Zenit GmbH, Germany

Gerald Jones, Corinium Innovation Ltd, UK


To register for this conference and for furtherinformation please visit

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Contact Information

The Questor Centre
David Keir Building
Stranmillis Road
Belfast BT9 5AG

Tel +4428 9097 5577
Fax +4428 9066 1462


For google map link click here

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