SFI links 23 researchers with industry under latest €1.8m awards

26 Jun 2018

Image: Andrey Eremin/Shutterstock

SFI has announced its latest batch of researchers to be awarded funding under the Industry Fellowship Programme totalling €1.8m.

Research funding is often hard to come by as many readers of Science Uncovered will be aware of, which is why greater collaboration with industry is encouraged to bolster their scientific pursuits.

To that end, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has announced the latest 23 recipients of its Industry Fellowship Programme awards worth a total of €1.8m.

Funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and awarded through SFI, it will see 23 researchers from the 2017 programme call take up temporary placements in industry.

The programme is designed to offers researchers from academia the opportunity to gain insight into the commercial working environment, the cultural differences and industrial approach to project management.

For industry researchers entering academic institutions, they can potentially benefit from access to highly specialised equipment, knowledge and insight within the academic community.

Ranging from between two and 24 months, the placements have so far proven to be successful with more than 130 industry partnerships to date.

The 23 researchers this year come from a diverse range of topics including renewable energy, cancer research, medical devices, environmental sensors and materials science, and are supported by 20 industry partners ranging from Irish start-ups and SMEs to large MNCs.

‘Access to real-world expertise’

One of those taking part in the programme is Dr Sibu Padmanabhan who said of his participation: “I am looking forward to the year ahead with Versatile Packaging.

“My research will focus on developing an antimicrobial coating process for food packaging, to ensure safety, reduce food waste and in turn support sustainable food development.”

He added: “The SFI Industry Fellowship Programme has enabled me to connect with a relevant industry partner in Versatile Packaging, where access to real-world expertise and high-throughput processing technology will be a huge benefit to my research.”

Also commenting on the recent additions, Dr Ciarán Seoighe, deputy director general of SFI, said: “The 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.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic