SFI doles out €43.4m to researchers


27 Feb 2003

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Mathematical modelling of randomness, non-linear effects in computing systems and a genomic investigation of major psychotic disorders are just some of the information and communications technology (ICT) and biotech projects to be given backing as part of Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) latest funding round.

Following a competitive call for proposals in 2002, some €43.4m has been approved for dispensation under the scheme, with awards going to 45 project leaders and their teams. Based in universities and institutes of technology in Ireland, they all work in the research fields underpinning biotechnology and ICT and cover research periods up to four years. They were selected after a process of international peer review.

Commenting on the latest funding round, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Harney TD, said: “These awards mark another milestone in our efforts to build a world-class research system in Ireland. These researchers are all internationally recognised in their fields and their commitment to research in Ireland is greatly welcomed.”

William Harris, director general of SFI, echoed these sentiments: “Since its establishment, SFI has worked to recruit and retain first-rate scientists and engineers in the research fields underpinning biotechnology and ICT. These award recipients represent a significant advance in this effort,” he said.

SFI has been allocated €646m under the National Development Plan (2000-2006). If the latest funding round is included, the SFI has now committed to invest some €152m in research-related projects. This figure will rise to approximately €200m in the coming months when the body releases details of the new Centres of Science and Technology (CSETs) – the university-industry co-operative research facilities – that are to receive funding from the SFI.

By Brian Skelly