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€60m investment released for pioneering research projects

Government funding of €60 million will support 85 research projects in areas like science, technology and mathematics.

Richard Bruton TD
Richard Bruton TD
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

GOVERNMENT FUNDING OF €60 million is to be released to fund 85 pioneering research projects in areas like mathematics, science and technology, it has been announced.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD and the Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock TD, today announced the funding, which will be administered via Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Investigator Programme.

The 85 research projects will directly support 250 researchers through to 2018, as well as indirectly supporting further research initiatives and many more researchers by leveraging significant additional funding from other sources including competitive European research calls, the ministers said in a statement.

The top-class projects focus on a range of national research priority areas identified by Government as key for developing new commercial products and services from scientific research – including ICT, health/life sciences, energy and manufacturing competitiveness. The projects being funded have links to 36 companies so far.

“A central part of this Government’s plan for jobs and growth is to ensure that this research is better targeted at turning the good ideas of researchers into good products and good jobs. That is why we have implemented a series of reforming measures as part of Action Plan for Jobs 2012,” Bruton said.

Those measures include:

  • Research Prioritisation – investing public money in those areas that are most likely to yield commercial success and grow jobs
  • A one-stop-shop for commercialising research – through a new Technology Transfer Centre
  • New research centres – funding centres of scale and excellence which will forge alliances between industry and research together

Bruton continued:

“Today’s announcement that Government is investing a further €60 million in 85 new research projects supporting 250 researchers will build on Ireland’s existing research strengths. Approximately 50 per cent of IDA’s company announcements last year had links with Science Foundation Ireland funded researchers. By supporting these world-class researchers in their ground-breaking work we will ensure that we continue to maintain, attract and develop dynamic companies and create the quality jobs we need.”

The individual research projects funded, range in size and scale from approximately €200,000 to €2.7 milllion over the next 5 years and will cover a
broad range of scientific topics, including:

  • Computer-assisted neurosurgery
  • Animation
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Mathematics for enterprise, science and technology
  • Hepatitis C
  • Advanced materials and manufacturing
  • ICT
  • Tissue engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Biofilms
  • Microbiology
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Farm waste for Bioenergy
  • Genetics
  • Disease susceptibility & treatment
  • Algae & seaweed

“Over the past decade, Ireland has invested heavily in R&D and the rewards are clearly visible,” said Sherlock. “What is particularly heartening about today’s announcement is that much of this excellent research, which was selected competitively following international peer review, is being done in collaboration with companies who are seeking to find new products and services, including IBM Ireland, Intel Ireland, HP, EMC and Bord Gáis.”

Read: €200m EIB loan to finance 23 Irish water investment projects

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