6 projects to share €25m SFI funding to bolster research infrastructure

21 Oct 2019

Image: © Hoda Bogdan/Stock.adobe.com

SFI has revealed the six projects set to share a total of €25m to support new research infrastructure, ranging from medical imaging to ocean observation.

Funding that ensures Irish researchers have the right infrastructure and capacity to apply for major international research grants through the EU and elsewhere has been given to six different projects in Ireland.

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) will distribute €25m through its Research Infrastructure Programme as part of the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland initiative. In addition to the funding of research infrastructure, the programme aims to bolster inter-institutional sharing of infrastructure, especially for institutes of technology.

The six projects include:

Dr Timothy McCarthy, Maynooth University

The National Autonomous Technologies Data Platform (NATDaP) aims to provide open autonomous technology data for vehicles, drones, AI and robotics across Ireland’s higher education institutes.

Prof Kingston Mills, Trinity College Dublin

The project’s flow cytometry and single-cell gene analysis infrastructure aims to give the university a significant edge in enabling rapid analysis for clinical samples.

Prof Mani Ramaswami, Trinity College Dublin

A new MRI scanner called Ultra Low Noise Digital 3T will look to give the university and Ireland the chance to lead in neurodevelopmental research on infants and children, and in the areas of ADHD, depression, psychosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Graeme Maxwell, Tyndall National Institute

The Tyndall 200mm FlexiFab will allow electronics equipment at the institute to process at 200mm, which is considered an asset needed to drive future innovation in ICT research and industry in Ireland.

Michael Gillooly, Marine Institute

The EirOOS Irish ocean observing system aims to be a component of the European Ocean Observing System to further scientific and technical research capacity in key areas such as sea-level science, ocean circulation and carbon sequestration.

Prof Walter Kolch, University College Dublin

A national platform for comprehensive molecular analysis could not only enhance Ireland’s competitiveness to participate in and lead international research, but could also support research in a number of national priority areas.

Cutting-edge infrastructure

Commenting on his institution receiving funding as part of the programme, the Marine Institute’s CEO, Dr Paul Connolly, said: “Sustainably managing our oceans and understanding the impacts of ocean and climate change requires increased observations on and within the ocean.

“The investment in the EirOOS infrastructure will enable enhanced ocean observation and underpin forecasting and modelling in the marine area.”

Meanwhile, deputy director of SFI, Dr Ciarán Seoighe, added: “To allow researchers to meet the evolving challenges both globally and domestically we must ensure that they have the cutting-edge infrastructure required for their research to positively impact our economy, society and environment.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic