Irish Government injects €12.3m into scientific research

20 Apr 2012

The Irish Government is providing early-career scientific researchers with €12.3m to carry out pioneering work in Ireland, Minister for Research and Innovation Séan Sherlock, TD, has announced at Tyndall National Institute in Cork.

The funding to progress Ireland’s science research agenda will be provided over the next four years through the Government’s science agency, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), through its ‘Starting Investigator Research Grant’ (SIRG) programme.

The SFI funding will support 44 researchers and post-graduate students working in energy, nanomaterials, electricity, cancer research, marine ecology, tissue engineering, cystic fibrosis and immunology amongst others.

“While in recent years we have developed an internationally recognised credible research base here in Ireland, it is still essential that we continue to provide for our future economic growth and job creation by establishing a competitive advantage for Irish enterprise through our scientific excellence,” Sherlock said.

“We as a Government are determined to ensure that the very best young scientific talent is given compelling reasons to either stay in Ireland or to locate from abroad to conduct top-class research here.

“I am delighted to see that this round of SIRG awards also marks the first co-funding arrangement with the international Marie Curie COFUND scheme, which aims to expand national research programmes and encourage greater transnational mobility,” Sherlock added.

“Such a partnership exemplifies the increasingly collaborative and international nature of research activity in Ireland today.”

Dr Stephen Simpson, director of life sciences at SFI, said the SIRG programme illustrates a commitment to nurturing researchers of tomorrow.

“A dedicated ‘early intervention’ scheme such as this helps to pave the way for progression towards commercialisation of ideas at a later stage in the researchers’ careers,” Simpson said.

The funding recipients are based in Cork Institute of Technology; Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies; NUI Galway; Trinity College Dublin; Tyndall National Institute; NUI Maynooth; National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training; University College Dublin; and University College Cork.