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In this event, the first of a new lecture series co-organised by the IIEA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), entitled Environmental Resilience, Dr John Bell explains how research and innovation (R&I) is a key enabler in the drive towards a green and just transition. In his address, Dr Bell examines the role of R&I in the context of the European Green Deal and the recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting pioneering R&I actions such as the proposed European Green Deal Missions. His presentation also addresses opportunities for Ireland in the years ahead, with a focus on sectors such as the bioeconomy, resource sustainability and circularity, regional job growth, and ecosystem renewal.

About the Speaker:

Dr John Bell is the ‘Healthy Planet’ Director of DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission. He is responsible for leading the Research and Innovation transitions on Climate Change within planetary boundaries, Bioeconomy, Food Systems, Environment and Biodiversity, Oceans and Arctic, Circular Economy, Water and Bio-based innovations. Dr Bell’s work is paving the way for a more innovative, resource efficient and competitive society that reconciles food security with sustainable use of renewable resources whilst ensuring environmental protection. Until 2019, he was Director of Bioeconomy, where he delivered the EU Bioeconomy Strategy and developed policy initiatives such as ‘FOOD2030’ and ‘the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance’. Previously, Dr Bell was the Chief de Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.