40 Irish research projects awarded €22.3m in SFI funding

18 Oct 2016

Scientist at work. Image: Minerva Studio/Shutterstock

Nearly 100 researchers across 40 Irish research projects are to be awarded a total of €22.3m over the next four years to boost areas including medical, ICT and renewable energies.

The funding announced by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) is part of its Starting Investigator Research Grant (SIRG) and Career Development Award (CDA) programmes announced by Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan, TD.

Totalling just under 100 researchers, the awards will range in value from €450,000 to €877,000 over the next four years.

Future Human

All of the research projects will be funded through nine research bodies with the most being in Trinity College Dublin (nine), University College Dublin (eight) and Dublin City University (seven).

Of these 40 projects, five sectors will be covered including: health and medical, food and marine, energy and environment, manufacturing and materials, and ICT and communications.

Among some of the more eye-catching projects were the development of laser-based diagnostic tools to non-invasively detect bladder cancer from urine samples, and the conversion of CO2 into liquid fuels using low cost catalysts and solar cells.

‘High expectations for these projects’

Announcing the awards, the Minister said: “These researchers will be the next leaders of research in Ireland, shaping the research community both here in Ireland and internationally.

“The nine industrial collaborations linked with these awards provides industry with access to the emerging research expertise found throughout Ireland. Collaborations at these early career stages will help establish relationships which will advance Ireland’s economy, society, and reputation, for research excellence now and in the future.”

Prof Mark Ferguson, director general of the SFI added: “The SIRG and CDA awards help early and mid-career researchers develop essential skills and track records necessary to become the next generation of research leaders in Ireland.

“I have high expectations for these projects and look forward to these teams contributing to the advancement of Ireland’s international reputation in areas such as energy, materials, technology, and health.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic