Encirc one of only three NI companies to receive support from innovative new programme

April 2024
Pictured at the launch are (from left) Neville Graham, Head of Farmer Services, Dale Farm; Sue McGuire, Senior Strategic Partnership Manager, Digital Catapult; Andrew Muir MLA, DAERA Minister; Fiacre O’Donnell, Sustainability Director, Encirc; and Jason Rankin, General Manager, AgriSearch.

Encirc’s drive towards producing zero emission glass bottles received another boost this week when it was one of only three companies in Northern Ireland to receive support from DAERA and the innovative Tenfold Net Zero Accelerator programme.

In November 2023, DAERA announced its partnership with Digital Catapult Northern Ireland to provide local businesses with the opportunity to access the UK’s world class technology community to tackle challenges they face in the drive towards net zero.

The Tenfold Net Zero Accelerator programme will help businesses such as Encirc develop and adopt sustainable innovation to solve complex industrial challenges. Encirc is joined in the programme by Dale Farm and AgriSearch.

The Department is set to contribute up to £250,000 to support Digital Catapult to deliver the Tenfold Net Zero Accelerator programme in Northern Ireland and each successful technology provider will receive £20,000 in funding from the industry partners.

Now, Encirc, a Vidrala Group company, will be hoping to partner with an SME to develop technology that helps with quality inspection for the dark coloured glass that the company produces at its Derrylin plant in County Fermanagh.

Any solution will reduce waste, improve efficiencies and customer satisfaction as well as advancing Encirc’s decarbonisation aims across its market leading glass container design, manufacturing, bottling and logistics company.

The programme is now taking applications from the UK’s world class technology start-up and SME community to support the development of this solution and those of Dale Farm and AgriSearch also.

Encirc’s Sustainability Director, Fiacre O’Donnell, said: “We are delighted to be at the forefront of this new programme. As we look towards decarbonising the production of glass and reducing emissions throughout our supply chain, technological advances and key collaborations will be so important.

“To this end, we are hopeful that this access to the UK’s finest technology companies will provide us with a solution to an important area of our production process that will ultimately be beneficial for our business, our customers, and our drive to net zero.”

Speaking at the launch of the call for applications at Dale Farm in Belfast, Minister Andrew Muir, said: “I am delighted to be here today alongside local industry. TenFold NetZero demonstrates how Northern Ireland’s public and private sector can work together to develop solutions that benefit industry, drive innovation, achieve green growth and hopefully create sustainable business models that can be emulated across DAERA’s sectors.

“Innovation will play a critical role in addressing the challenges we face today in relation to climate change and sustainability. I look forward not only to hearing how our industry partners fare in their search for solutions through this programme, but also the wider implications, including how the outcomes of the programme will help inform and encourage future initiatives as we work towards achieving net zero.”

This development is part of Northern Ireland’s target to reduce Northern Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 as set out in the Climate Change Act 2022. Encirc remains committed to participating fully in this important process.

The closing date for applications is 12th May, 2024. Further information on the challenges, selection criteria and terms and conditions can be found at www.digicat.org.uk/TenfoldNetZeroOpenCall.

‘We are delighted to be at the forefront of this new programme. As we look towards decarbonising the production of glass and reducing emissions throughout our supply chain, technological advances and key collaborations will be so important’

Fiacre O'Donnell

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