SFI reveals the six centres funded as part of new €460m windfall

9 May 2019

Image: © kkolosov/Stock.adobe.com

The Government and industry have committed to giving €460m towards six SFI research centres over the next six years.

In a highly competitive process, six Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research centres are set to share a large windfall as part of the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 initiative.

The announcement was made this morning (9 May) by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD, and the Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development John Halligan, TD.

An investment of €230m represents 170 industry partners that have agreed to fund the six centres over the next six years. These partners include AuriGen Medical, Raydiant Oximetry, DePuy Ireland, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Intel and Nokia Bell Labs.

In conjunction with the €230m being provided by the State, this brings the total investment in the centres to €460m.

According to SFI, under the new funding model these six centres are scaling up to secure 66pc of the funding from other sources, so only 34pc of their funding over the six years will now come from the Government agency.

“The economic impact of this research is clear, not only through direct and indirect employment levels, but also through increased foreign direct investment,” said Humphreys.

“Our research centres not only act as magnets to attract and retain investment, they also encourage companies, both Irish and foreign-owned, to develop their R&D activities here. This will continue to benefit Ireland and the world for years to come.”

SFI’s director general, Prof Mark Ferguson, added: “In only a very short period, the SFI research centres have made incredible progress in terms of increased academic and industrial collaboration, training PhD students for industry, winning competitive funding from the EU, producing excellent scientific results, and public engagement.

“We look forward to continued support from the Government and industry as we move forward, increasing our ability to positively impact both society and the economy through excellent scientific research.”

The six centres selected to be funded include:

  1. AMBER – Trinity College Dublin
  2. APC Microbiome Ireland – University College Cork
  3. The Insight Centre for Data Analytics – NUI Galway, Dublin City University, University College Cork and University College Dublin
  4. IPIC – Tyndall National Institute
  5. MaREI – University College Cork
  6. SSPC – University of Limerick

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic