Press Release


[June 16, 2019] SkyNRG and the Bernal Institute at University of Limerick has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore the development of sustainable aviation fuel manufacturing in Ireland.

The agreement between SkyNRG and Bernal was signed in the presence of Dutch Minister of Trade, Sigrid Kaag, during the Dutch Royal Visit and Trade Mission at the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin this Thursday.

The Bernal Institute at UL and SkyNRG will explore the potential of a regional Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) supply chain in Ireland, with a strong focus on academic collaboration at University of Limerick.

The MoU was signed by Dr Mary Shire, Vice President Research at UL and SkyNRG CEO Maarten van Dijk and “aims to expand the relationship for research cooperation on technological, societal and market development of sustainable aviation biofuels in the Irish context”.

The collaboration emerged from the industry drive for the development of SAF production capacity and an EU-wide call to reduce aviation emissions.

“SkyNRG and Bernal agreed to explore how to stimulate an opportunity for the production of sustainable aviation fuels in Ireland,” explained Luuk van der Wielen, director of the Bernal Institute at UL.

“Apart from historic links with myself, Bernal was chosen given its strategic profile in disruptive sustainable technology development to solve global challenges especially in energy, environment and health,” he added.

SkyNRG CEO, Maarten van Dijk, said: “Sustainable aviation fuels and Ireland are potentially a perfect match. We are excited to engage with the Bernal Institute and University of Limerick on sustainable aviation fuel developments. Building new industries is all about partnering with the right people and organisations. We believe the combination of R&D and entrepreneurship is key in mobilising a broader group of stakeholders.”

Among those to witness the signing was Norah Patten, Project Manager at the Irish Composites Centre (iComp), which is hosted by The Bernal Institute at UL.

“The Bernal Institute works already on many aspects relevant for emission reduction in aviation such as lightweight composite structures,” Ms Patten said. “This collaboration will be a good complement to research at iComp.”

Patrick Barrett, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Horizon 2020 national contact point, said: “The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine co-leads on bioeconomy implementation in Ireland along with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and takes a strong interest in the SkyNRG and Bernal-UL engagement on sustainable aviation fuels supply chain development.”

The signing took place during a seminar hosted in Dublin by Bernal as part of the Dutch Royal visit entitled ‘Sustainable Renewables for Energy and Environment’.


For further information, please contact:

Alan Owens

Communications Officer

University of Limerick

+353 87 908 6633

+353 61 213000

About University of Limerick:

The University of Limerick is an independent, internationally focused university with more than 15,000 students and 1,400 staff. It is a young, energetic and enterprising university with a proud record of innovation in education and excellence in research and scholarship.

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About the Bernal Institute:

Launched in November 2016, the Bernal Institute hosts a multidisciplinary team of world-leading scientists and engineers at UL. Bernal represents a €100 million+ investment in world class characterisation, modelling and manufacturing facilities concentrated in 20,000 m of high quality research space. Bernal’s vision is to become the leading international research institute for the scientific design and manufacture of structured materials to meet global challenges, particulate in the areas of health, energy and the environment. More information is available at

About SkyNRG

SkyNRG is the global market leader for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) solutions. Having supplied over 30 airlines on all continents, it is the firm’s mission to make SAF the new global standard. SkyNRG sources, blends and distributes SAF, guarantees sustainability throughout the supply chain and helps to co-fund any price gap over conventional jet fuel. At the same time, SkyNRG focuses on developing regional SAF supply chains -e.g., DSL-01, that offer a real sustainable and affordable alternative to fossil fuels. To ensure it makes the right decisions regarding the sustainability of operations, projects and products, SkyNRG is structurally advised by an independent Sustainability Board, which includes representatives from WWF International, the European Climate Foundation, Solidaridad Network and the University of Groningen. Also, SkyNRG’s operations are certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), the highest possible certification standard for sustainable fuels.

About national bioeconomy implementation:

The Government published the National Policy Statement on the Bioeconomy  in March 2018.  The policy statement established the Bioeconomy Implementation Group co-chaired by the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment and the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine. The group is mandated to advance actions and challenges identified to further develop the bioeconomy in Ireland.  The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and its agencies provide focus on identifying, prioritising and supporting the development of regional assets, resources, actors and (cross)-sectoral value chains in the bioeconomy. The Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment, and the EPA and SEAI also provide focus on alignment and coherence of bioeconomy, circular economy, energy, environment and climate action including addressing regulatory requirements.