SFI pouring €47m into Irish research institutions

17 Feb 2017

Maynooth University. Image: 1000 Words/Shutterstock

Research groups across the country are set to benefit from a €47m injection into tangible resources, with universities front and centre.

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has allocated significant funding for 36 projects throughout Ireland’s research industry.

Specifically aimed at equipment and facility upgrades, the funding programme includes incentives for higher education institutions (HEIs) to purchase more pieces of equipment further down the line.

Some of the projects that will be funded through the programme include a national high-performance computing infrastructure at NUI Galway, additive-manufacturing equipment at Waterford IT and a pre-clinical facility for assessing therapeutic medicinal products at Trinity College Dublin.

“Continuous investment and improvement of research infrastructure is vital to ensure Ireland remains at the forefront of scientific research and development,” said Prof Mark Ferguson, director general of SFI.

“Providing researchers with access to the best tools and facilities contributes to the high standard of research which can be performed here.”

The 36 projects funded through the programme are spread across 10 research bodies: University of Limerick (six), Dublin City University (five), University College Dublin (four), Tyndall National Institute (two), Trinity (four), NUI Maynooth (three), NUI Galway (five), Waterford IT (two), Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland (two), and Teagasc (two).

Taking Maynooth University as one example, €2.3m of the €47.4m will help to fund three projects: €680,000 will go to the development of a high-frequency terahertz measurement and characterisation facility, €315,000 will go to the development of an imaging and sensor pod for drones and light aircraft, and €1.3m is for research infrastructure.

“Top-quality infrastructure combined with our talented workforce further increases Ireland’s appeal in the global market,” said Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD.

“Industry partners will directly benefit from the enhanced infrastructure through opportunities such as international partnerships and collaborations facilitated by SFI researchers in our HEIs.”

Maynooth University. Image: 1000 Words/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic