Bart Bonsall has been appointed to head the Competence Centre for Biorefining and Bioenergy, NUI Galway, co-hosted by UL and UCD. He is one of the team of technology leaders that will run eight research centres aimed at linking industry and academics to work on market-focused innovative products.
The appointment is part of the Government’s Competence Centre programme, a joint initiative between the job creation agencies, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, which will generate new ‘smart’ jobs by turning ideas into marketable products.
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O’Keeffe TD has set aside Eur37 million in extra funding over the next six years for investment in the new ‘competence’ centres. The extra funding is expected to boost investment in the programme to over Eur90 million over the next six years.
The number of competence centres will rise from six this year to 15 in 2016 with two more planned for this year.
A graduate of the University of Illinois, Bart Bonsall has been the operations and finance director in Biodiesel Production Ireland for the past six years. There, he designed a state-of-the-art biodiesel production facility to be developed in Greenore Port, County Louth, and he has spent time examining best international practice for the conversion of biomass into forms of energy. Bart Bonsall’s role will principally be focused on commercialising the research being undertaken at a number of Ireland’s universities.