The Bernal Institute at University of Limerick has signed a MoU with SkyNRG, global market leader in SAF to explore the development of sustainable aviation fuel manufacturing in Ireland.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU), which will see Bernal and Netherlands-based firm SkyNRG, collaborate on the development of sustainable aviation fuels, was signed in the presence of Dutch Minister of Trade, Sigrid Kaag, during the Dutch Royal Visit and Trade Mission in the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin this Thursday.

The Bernal Institute of the University of Limerick and SkyNRG are collaborating to explore the potential of a regional Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) value chain in Ireland, with a strong focus on academic collaboration at University of Limerick.

The MoU was signed by  Dr Mary Shire, Vice President Research at UL and SkyNRG MD Maarten van Dijk and “aims to expand the relationship for research cooperation on technological, societal and market development of sustainable aviation biofuels in the Irish context”.

The collaboration emerged from the industry drive for the development of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production capacity and an EU-wide call to reduce aviation emissions..

“The Bernal Institute works already on many aspects relevant for emission reduction in aviation such as lightweight composite structures.” Norah Patten, Manager at the Irish Composites Center ICOMP hosted by Bernal and witness to the signing: “ This collaboration will be a good complement to the ICOMP research.”

Patrick Barrett, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Horizon 2020 National Contact Point “‘The Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine co-leads on bioeconomy implementation in Ireland along with the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment and takes a strong interest in the SkyNRG/Bernal-UL engagement on sustainable aviation fuels value chain development’.

Quote from Maarten van Dijk, managing director of SkyNRG: “Sustainable aviation fuels and Ireland are potentially a perfect match. We are excited to engage with the Bernal Institute and University of Limerick on sustainable aviation fuel developments. Building new industries is all about partnering with the right people and organisations. We believe the combination of R&D and entrepreneurship is key in mobilising a broader group of stakeholders.

“SkyNRG and Bernal agreed to explore how to stimulate the Irish opportunity,” explained Luuk van der Wielen, director of the Bernal Institute. “Bernal was chosen given its strategic profile in disruptive sustainable technology development to solve global challenges especially in energy, environment and health,” he added

The signing took place during a seminar hosted in Dublin by Bernal as part of the Dutch Royal visit entitled ‘Sustainable Renewables for Energy and Environment’.