Irish Govt invests €1.6m to fund 27 early-stage researchers

1 Sep 2011

The Minister for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock TD has committed €1.6m of State funding via Science Foundation Ireland for research projects with significant commercial prospects.

The Minister announced details of 27 early-stage researchers projects supported through the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation by Science Foundation Ireland. “Bringing research from the conceptual stage to the commercial stage is one of a number of pre-requisites for Ireland’s economic recovery.

“Recipients of this TIDA funding have made compelling cases for their early-stage innovations, illustrating strong prospects for commercial benefit, either in introducing a new way of doing something or by improving on what is currently done. Driving this connection between research and industry is a continual imperative for Government, enterprise and the wider science community in Ireland.”

The TIDA funding, totalling €1.6m, aims to realise a greater economic impact from investment in research.

TIDA is run in partnership with Enterprise Ireland, with all award recipients working closely with Enterprise Ireland on key principles such as feasibility, awareness of commercialisation, prototype build, industrial processes and encouragement of multi-disciplinary convergence.

Areas of research to receive funding

Some of the research being explored are in diverse areas such as inflammatory and immune diseases, breast cancer, bone grafts, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic pain treatment, mobile telecommunications, sensors, constraints programming and medical devices.  

“Commercialisation of research can be a prolonged and often complex process,” explained Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of Enterprise & International Affairs at SFI.

“These TIDA awards are a critical component in maximising the potential for researchers to navigate that journey. Whilst facilitating research is, in itself, crucially important, providing the opportunity for the outcomes of that research to convert to commercial applications is a fundamental expectation,” Dr Freeman said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years