€300,000 in advanced research funding awarded to Irish-based scientists

5 Feb 2015

Two Irish-based researchers have been awarded €150,000 each to allow them to bridge the gap between their existing frontier research and its commercial applications by the European Research Council (ERC).

Both Prof Fergal O’Brien of bioengineering & regenerative medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and Prof Valeria Nicolosi at the school of chemistry, school of physics & CRANN in Trinity College Dublin (TCD)  will now be able to cover the costs of technical validation, create a start-up to explore business opportunities, or establish intellectual property rights.

Prof O’Brien, whose project is entitled miRNA-activated Scaffold Technologies for Cartilage Regeneration, is focussed on developing an advanced therapeutic for cartilage repair who is now going to use this new funding to help to establish the potential of his original idea for which he already received €2m in ERC funding back in 2009.

Meanwhile, Prof Nicolosi has received funding for her project entitled Ink-Jet printed supercapacitors based on 2D nanomaterials.

This is the third grant that Prof Nicolosi has received from the ERC to date and this will allow her to hone in on enabling new 2D-based nanomaterials to one day potentially pioneer ultra-thin, flexible supercapacitors manufacturing for the aerospace and automotive industry.

Speaking of their successful funding, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Carlos Moedas said, “Europe has plenty of world-class research, but not enough of it reaches the marketable product stage as commercialised, pioneering goods and services.

“The Proof of Concept grants will enable some of our top research to compete with the best innovations out there. This will help improve our ability to bring innovations to market, boost competitiveness and create the jobs and growth needed in Europe.”

Euro sign image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic