Irish Minister visits Biofuel Research Centre

Pat Breen learns about the technology behind Celtic Renewables

Date posted

19 March 2018


Pat Breen, Irish Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, visited Edinburgh Napier’s Biofuel Research Centre as part of a four-day official visit to Scotland for the Irish Government’s St. Patrick’s Day “Promote Ireland” programme. 

The Minister met with Professor Martin Tangney and his team, and learned firsthand about the pioneering work of the University’s spinout company Celtic Renewables, which is producing advanced sustainable biofuel from the residues of the whisky industry.

Ireland’s booming whisk(e)y industry is now one of the fastest growing spirits sectors in the world, and the Minister was keen to learn how the technology could be exported to Ireland.

Professor Tangney, who was awarded an Honorary OBE in the New Years list, is originally from County Cork and has strong links with Irish industry and Government.

Professor Tangney said: “Links between Ireland and Scotland have always been strong, but in the current political climate they are more important than ever. A high-profile visit such as this by Minister Breen shows the reputation that we have earned in Ireland and is a tremendous boost for us in forging partnerships between the two countries.”

During his visit to Scotland, Minister Breen also met with senior Scottish Government Cabinet Secretaries in Edinburgh and was the guest of honour at the St. Patrick’s Day Charity Ball. 

The programme for the Minister’s visit was developed by the Consulate General of Ireland in Edinburgh in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland and Tourism Ireland. The Consul General of Ireland to Scotland, Dr Mark Hanniffy, accompanied Minister Breen on the visit to the Sighthill campus. It was also Dr Hanniffy’s first time at the University.

Dr Hanniffy said: “Our visit to Celtic Renewables and Edinburgh Napier University was a valuable opportunity to hear about the work of a really innovative company driving the development of cutting edge technology in the renewable energy sector. Much credit is due to Professor Martin Tangney, a leading Irish scientist based here in Scotland, for pioneering the use of this new method for the production of biofuels.”

The images show;

(i) a group photo in the labs with Minister Breen (centre) and Dr Mark Hanniffy, Consul General of Ireland to Scotland (second from right)

(ii) L-R, Prof Martin Tangney OBE and Minister Pat Breen TD

School of Applied Sciences

Our applied approach to science and social sciences makes a positive impact both nationally and internationally. Through our strength in research, and our reputation for 5-star teaching (QS), our graduates are recognised as work-ready from day one.