All-island research funding call will see 62 projects share in €37.3m pot

2 Mar 2022

Image: © Rudzhan/Stock.adobe.com

As part of the State’s plan to encourage all-island collaboration in research, projects ranging from cancer treatment to the Atlantic Corridor will be funded.

The Government has today allocated €37.3m in funding to 62 projects under its all-island research programme. The North-South Research Programme’s first funding call was announced today, with awards ranging in value from €200,000 over two years to €4m over four years.

The awards will go to collaborative research projects between academics and institutions in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland. The fund will focus in particular on bilateral researcher projects, supporting research centres of excellence and scaling partnerships.

Future Human

The Government initially announced the all-island programme as part of its Shared Island Fund last July. At the time of its launch, the programme was allocated €40m in funding by the Government and the Taoiseach described it as an “investment in the future” of the island of Ireland.

There is expected to be a second funding call in 2023. Among the projects awarded funding this time around is a collaboration between University College Dublin (UCD) and Queen’s University Belfast examining the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria, as well as an Atlantic Innovation Corridor project focused on building industry and innovation with research partners in the region.

Two cancer research projects also got funding. A collaborative effort between Queen’s University Belfast and UCD, the all-island cancer research institute will bring 10 academic institutions and their teaching hospitals together to work on precision cancer medicine.

Meanwhile, a collaborative consortium between Trinity College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast aims to bring new approaches and excellence in research, training and teaching to the area of liquid biopsies.

Announcing the awards, Taoiseach Micheál Martin, TD, said he was “particularly impressed by the high level of interest and the calibre of the proposals,” adding that he was “confident that these cross-border collaborations will further strengthen the island’s reputation for innovation and research excellence.”

The Higher Education Authority’s CEO, Dr Alan Wall, said that the fund would enable researchers “to work collaboratively to address global, national and regional challenges and to deepen the relationships between researchers and the impact of their research on how we share this island.”

“Research, science and innovation are invaluable tools in helping us understand the challenges facing us and identify solutions to them,” added Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD.

A full list of the projects being awarded funding under this call is available on the Higher Education Authority’s website.

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Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com