Green start-up wins €2.8m EU grant23/04/2012 - 07:43:01
A Galway-based start-up business is celebrating a €2.8m cash injection that will create 14 high end jobs.
Greentech company Cellulac has been approved for the record grant from the European Commission to commercialise its biorefining technology that converts agricultural waste into lactic acid.
The investment will fund 14 posts and the recruitment of graduates from the life sciences and engineering sectors.
Fin Murray, chief executive, said: “This win and our confidence that Cellulac will be filling key R&D roles locally is a testament to the investment poured into the development of the life sciences and green tech sectors over the last number of years.”
Lactic acid is used in food and beverages, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, biodegradable plastics and other industrial sectors.
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. Its application was supported by Enterprise Ireland.
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.
Sean Sherlock, Minister for Research & Innovation said, the size of the grant indicates the high-commercial potential of the finished product and the importance of biorefining as a future growth industry.
“I am delighted to see one of Enterprise Ireland’s high-potential start-up clients make such a strong impression in this EU initiative, which seeks to bridge the gap between research and the market,” he added.
“Both the Irish Government and the EU Commission are encouraging SMEs to convert good ideas for innovative products, services and processes that protect the environment into fully-fledged commercial prospects so I am particularly encouraged by Cellulac’s success.”
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