Eureka! SFI bags €2.8m funding for fresh batch of initiatives

17 Feb 2017

From left: John Halligan, Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, TD; Ross Maguire, Learnit Educational Solutions; and Dr Ruth Freeman, SFI. Image: Keith Arkins

Science Foundation Ireland is armed with a fresh tranche of funding to support dozens of projects across the country.

Backed by a new €2.8m injection of funding, a total of 44 public engagement initiatives will be supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI).

John Halligan, Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, TD, revealed the funding will be delivered through the SFI Discover Programme, and will support events to improve public understanding of STEM fields.

The 44 projects were selected from 120 applications. Some of those receiving support this year include Eureka, I Wish and A Hand in Space.

The latter is a theatre project with Dr Niamh Shaw, artist in residence at Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork. It will present the story of the massive human effort behind space exploration.

“Through these 44 awards and our new campaign, #BelieveInScience, we will work in partnership with the Irish research community to share our passion for science with the public, to promote an understanding of the ability of science, technology, engineering and maths to create positive change in the world and to drive a sustainable economy in Ireland,” said Dr Ruth Freeman, director of strategy at SFI.

SFI’s science zone at the St Patrick’s Festival will be reprised as part of this programme, with Calmast also returning to the south of the country.

Elsewhere, Eureka returns to TV, with a second series of the RTÉ 2 comedy panel show, hosted by Neil Delamere, on the way.

“These 44 projects will play a role in fostering innovation, opening conversations about the role of STEM in society and inspiring our young people to explore careers in these areas,” said Halligan.

“I am also delighted to launch SFI’s new #BelieveInScience campaign, which promotes the potential that science and discovery offer Ireland today and in tomorrow’s world.”

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic