SFI calls for collaboration as Industry Fellowship Programme applications open

14 Sep 2018

From left: Prof Mark Ferguson, SFI director general; Minister Heather Humphreys, TD; and Richard Mulligan, director of Versatile Packaging. Image: Lorraine Teevan

SFI is hoping to foster links between academic researchers and innovative industry figureheads.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD, today (14 September) called on companies across Ireland to work together with researchers under the SFI (Science Foundation Ireland) Industry Fellowship Programme.

At today’s programme launch in Monaghan, Humphreys noted the success of previous programmes in providing industry partners with access to innovative researchers and cutting-edge technology in Irish academic institutions. More than 140 industry partnerships have been created to date. The programme is funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation through SFI.

SFI programme brings industry and academia together

Humphreys said: “Ireland’s highly skilled workforce drives our knowledge economy, and programmes such as this provide a platform for the flow of talent and expertise between our academic institutions and the corporate world.

“I would strongly encourage businesses to take up this fantastic opportunity to link in with the latest research taking place in universities, which can help them to cultivate new ideas and perspectives in-house.”

Academic researchers under the programme gain valuable insights into the commercial working environment, while industry researchers can benefit from access to specialised equipment as well as specialised knowledge and insight from the academic community.

Director general of SFI and chief scientific adviser to the Government, Prof Mark Ferguson, said: “Irish higher-education institutions are an excellent source of highly skilled individuals, with nearly a third of PhD students and postdocs departing to industry as a first destination.

“The Industry Fellowship Programme is an ideal conduit for industry partners to grow their talent base and stimulate excellence through knowledge exchange and training.”

Applications open

35 projects have been approved this year across a variety of topics such as renewable energy, cancer research, medical devices, environmental sensors and materials science. These projects are supported by 31 industry partners ranging from Irish start-ups and SMEs to large multinational companies.

The deadline for applications this time around is 23 November and you can get more details from the SFI website. A networking event to match potential partners will take place in the Aviva Stadium from 10am to 2pm on Thursday 4 October.

Fellowships can last between one and 12 months if full-time and between two and 24 months if part-time. The maximum award amount is €100,000 direct costs.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects