200 research positions to be created through €47m science investment
(Left to right) Prof Mark Ferguson, director-general of Science Foundation Ireland; Prof Douwe van Sinderen, University College Cork, whose project is one of the 36 being funded; and Minister for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock, TD

200 research positions to be created through €47m science investment

30 Apr 2014

New Irish Government funding of €47m into scientific research will support 200 researcher positions across 36 research projects involving more than 62 companies.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, TD and the Minister for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock, TD, today announced €47m in funding for pioneering research initiatives, delivered by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, through the Science Foundation Ireland Investigators Programme.

The programme will provide funding over a three to five-year-period, for 36 research projects involving more than 200 researchers. Funding for each project will range from €400,000 to €3.1m.

The Science Foundation Ireland Investigators Programme supports scientific research that has the potential to impact Ireland’s economic and societal development.

The 36 projects have been selected by competitive peer review by 400 international scientists, focusing on excellent research with potential impact.

Turning good ideas into jobs

“Central to our Action Plan for Jobs is ensuring that we focus our research and innovation on job creation – turning good ideas into good jobs,” Bruton said.

“The funding we are announcing today will directly support over 200 highly skilled researchers in Ireland through to 2019, and is linked to 62 private-sector companies. This investment through SFI helps to develop Ireland’s international reputation for excellent research with impact.

“This allows us to continue to attract foreign-direct investment, as well as to support Irish companies, long-term economic competitiveness and most importantly, ultimately job creation.”

The successfully funded projects have links to 62 companies, and include research in areas such as cancer detection, sustainable food production, enhancing communications networks to enable high quality internet video, developing innovative wave-energy devices, biopharmaceutical production, and investigating the control of epilepsy development.

Two research projects have been selected as part of the SFI Teagasc Future Agri-Food Partnership to be co-funded by Teagasc.

These research projects will focus on pregnancy testing in dairy cattle and developing precision technology for sustainable pasture-based farming.

A further three projects in future agri-food will be funded by SFI, focusing on sustainable agriculture, fertility in cattle and microbiology for food.

“The Investigators Programme will support Ireland’s research community in developing projects that can lead and win in Horizon 2020,” said Mark Ferguson, Science Foundation Ireland director-general and chief scientific adviser to the Government.

“Not only will it provide direct support for over 200 researchers, the programme will also have an indirect impact on many other research programmes by allowing for the development of further research links with industry in Ireland and internationally. Of 210 applications, 36 projects were successful – a similar success rate to other international research funding programmes.

“A further five projects were also deemed scientifically excellent and impactful by the International Review Panel and are on a reserve list to be funded, if budgets permit later in the year,” Ferguson added.

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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