AgroCycle is a ca. €8 million (ca. €7 million from the European Commission, ca. €1 million from the Government of The People’s Republic of China) Horizon 2020 research and innovation project addressing the recycling and valorisation of waste from the agri-food sector. Maynooth University is one of 26 partners from 8 EU countries, two partners from mainland China, and one from Hong Kong. The project takes a holistic approach to understanding and addressing how to make best use of the full range of waste streams associated with the agri-food industry. It will deliver the AgroCycle Protocol, a blueprint for achieving sustainable agri-food waste valorisation. This is an opportunity to explore a circular economy and how our actions have a global impact, starting with the agri-food chain from pre and post farm gate.
The Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education at Maynooth University, led by Dr Máire Nic an Bhaird, is a partner in the European Commission funded Horizon 2020 project, AgroCycle. A seismic shift in citizen awareness and lifestyle is necessary in order for the ‘circular economy’ to become established on a meaningful scale. With this in mind, the MU team is creating a novel programme for primary school education, designed to introduce the ‘circular economy’ concepts to the youth of Europe and China. Dr Máire Nic an Bhaird and her team will implement pilot-scale projects in Ireland and elsewhere in Europe. They will work with Chinese partners at the China Agricultural University, Beijing on developing complementary projects for the Chinese education system. Laoise Ní Chléirigh (Maynooth University) is undertaking her PhD in the translation of a circular economy concept through an arts based narrative in primary school. As part of the AgroCycle project Laoise Ní Chléirigh and Dr Máire Nic an Bhaird participated in the Agri-Food Waste Day Conference on the 17 October 2017 and the AgroCycle meeting on 18 October 2017 in Brussels. Maynooth University will develop AgroCycle Kids – an online stakeholders’ platform where access to schemes, lesson plans, games, videos, E-Circular will be made available for teachers, parents, guardians and children from May 2018 onwards. For further information on the project, please visit the AgroCycle website www.agrocycle.eu/
Dr Máire Nic an Bhaird, Maynooth University (left) and Laoise Ní Chléirigh, Maynooth University (right)