O’Neill encourages industry to “Have its say” on research
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) has hosted its second annual Evidence and Innovation Stakeholder Forum.
Commenting on the event, which brought together a wide range of stakeholders from research, industry and other rural interests, DARD Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “Our Evidence and Innovation Strategy 2009-13 guides our research effort to ensure we have well informed and evidence based policies and strategies in place to achieve our vision of a thriving and sustainable rural economy. We also want to help the agri-food sector make the most of the latest ideas, techniques and working practices so it can open up new markets, grow and become more profitable.”
The Minister continued: “We have a long history of funding research and last year, for the first time, stakeholders helped us identify and refine our evidence and innovation needs and priorities. On foot of this, we commissioned 31 projects which we hope will inform us and contribute to increased competitiveness of the sector and the wider rural economy.
“There remains considerable pressure on government funding, and so we need to ensure our evidence and innovation effort in 2012 is targeted towards the areas which meet our highest priority our evidence needs.”