€1.5m fund created for 20 academia-industry SFI research projects

18 Jun 201516 Shares

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Dr Eugene Mahon, University College Dublin and Dr Monica Rosa, Sigmoid Pharma. Image via Jason Clarke Photography

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20 new industry–academia research projects have been created through SFI’s Industry Fellowship Programme, with the help of a new €1.5m funding pool designed to stimulate knowledge transfer between academia and industry.

The programme places academic researchers in companies and industry researchers in Irish Higher Education Institutes (HEIs).

This round of funding has seen applicants from various sectors, including aquaculture and medical care.

The 20 projects announced involve major multinationals and small Irish companies, in areas such as medicine and pharmaceuticals, materials science, data management, agriculture and aquaculture. Companies participating include AbbVie, Cellix Ltd, Genentech, Intel Ireland Ltd, Marine Harvest, Merck Millipore, Perkin Elmer, Pilot Photonics Ltd, Second Genome, Sigmoid Pharma and Tullow Oil.

One example of a projects that will see academia partnering with industry will be the team-up of Dr Eugene Mahon from University College Dublin (UCD) and Sigmoid Pharma to advance state-of-the-art oral drug delivery.

Meanwhile, Dr Nicola Piana Agostinetti from the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies (DIAS) will partner with Tullow Oil on shallow crustal exploration using passive seismics, to bridge the gap between academic research and industrial-scale applications.

Speaking of the programme’s success to-date, director general of the SFI said: “The SFI Industry Fellowship programme is of value to all companies, both large and small, and is key for strengthening the research eco-system and encouraging the movement of talented people between academia and industry. I am delighted that we have funded 20 SFI industry Fellowships across diverse companies, and encourage more applications to the current call.”

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Colm Gorey is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com