A VEGAN food, ingredient and agriculture initiative worth almost €10m, backed by the European Commission, will begin at University College Cork (UCC) in January.
The first foods and ingredients from the Smart Protein project are expected to reach commercial markets by 2025.
The project brings together researchers and food and drinks industry players from UCC, Teagasc, Glanbia, pasta maker Barilla, brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev, global seafood leader Thai Union and others.
Of its €9.6m budget, €8.2m comes from the European Commission and €1.4m from industry partners.
The four-year project aims to reduce waste by using industry by-products such as spent grain, yeast and small germinated barley roots, all of which are left after pasta, beer and bread making. Its other aim is to build an agricultural system that captures, rather than produces, CO2.
Leading the project is senior researcher at UCC's School of Food and Nutritional Sciences Dr Emanuele Zannini. "Ireland is the last place you'd think of for this kind of change of direction in food production," he said. "It's the black sheep in Europe for its meat and dairy carbon footprint, but I saw that as an opportunity."