EPA makes €8.2m available to researchers to solve major climate issues

8 May 2017

Image: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

The EPA will provide €8.2m to researchers to help tackle the greatest environmental issues.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Ireland has issued its annual call to researchers in the hope of finding solutions to emerging and complex environmental problems.

For this year’s call, the EPA is putting a particular focus on the importance of a clean, protected environment for our health, wellbeing and quality of life.

On that note, €8.2m has been made available to researchers who can work within the areas of water, climate and sustainability.

Available to all researchers and not just those in Ireland, recent changes in the application process have resulted in more availability for women as part of the organisation’s gender equality initiative.

This means that there is greater eligibility for maternity/paternity/adoptive leave, while all institutions hosting funded researchers will need to have secured the minimum Athena SWAN gender equality accreditation by the end of 2019.

Irish researchers have already been awarded €12.9m in EU funding over the first three years of Horizon 2020 for environment-related research through the EPA, and this is expected to continue.

With the call opened on 5 May, the submission deadline for hopeful researchers is at 5pm on 3 July, followed by a call authorisation deadline on 14 July.

Topics expected

The EPA said it will begin awarding funding in November of this year.

“The EPA Research Programme funds research that addresses knowledge gaps and provides the evidence base to inform policymaking by government,” said Dr Alice Wemaere, research manager at the EPA.

“As part of the 2017 research call, we anticipate receiving research proposals addressing a wide range of topics, for example, emerging contaminants, antimicrobial resistance, human biomonitoring, or linkages between health and our environment, including projects on air quality, noise, odour and climate.”

Last week, University of Limerick announced that one of its researchers had made a major breakthrough in water filtration, with the potential to use 1,000 times less energy than conventional methods.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic