Getting 2017 off to a good start, Ulster University has revealed that it has been awarded €23m in EU funding to develop three advanced research projects in the fields of life sciences and renewable energy.
The significant amount of funding was announced as part of the EU’s Interreg VA programme to promote greater economic, social and territorial cooperation across the border region of Ireland, and western Scotland.
Under this remit, €6.4m has been offered to Ulster University’s SPIRE 2 project to develop a range of wide-scale mass renewable energy storage devices to meet current and future electricity market needs.
A further €8.1m has been awarded to the Eastern Corridor Medical Engineering Centre project, founded to collate research data and knowledge to use in the fight against disease.
The project will collect cross-border data on cardiovascular and respiratory diseases to help develop early point-of-care detection systems, including new medical wearable technologies for daily monitoring of vitals.
Finally, €8.6m has also been awarded to the Centre for Personalised Medicine, Clinical Decision-Making and Patient Safety to improve clinical decision-making in the areas of emergency surgery, acute kidney injury, diabetes care and dementia.
Follows a successful 2016
As part of the cross-border initiative, match funding for the projects has been provided by state entities in both Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Outlining the importance of the funding awards, CEO of the Special EU Programmes Body (which manages the Interreg VA programme), Gina McIntyre, said: “These projects will have a significant impact in developing cross-border collaboration within the renewable energy and health and life sciences business sectors.
“The EU Interreg VA programme recognises that both these sectors have a lot of potential to develop economic growth, and therefore warrant significant support from this EU funding within the region.”
2016 was a successful year for Ulster University in terms of scientific breakthroughs and the securing of funding, including it being named as the lead of a European healthcare research project in August, as well as the development of a device to ward off antibiotic resistance.