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9 August 2016

€40 million funding granted to 24 research projects

By Industry and Business News

Repro Free: Wednesday 3rd August 2016 – Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell-O’Connor TD today announced nearly €40 million in research funding for 24 major research projects. The funding is distributed via Science Foundation Ireland’s Investigators Programme through a funding stream provided by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation. With awards ranging from €500,000 to €2.7 million over four to five year periods, projects funded by the Investigators Programme will support over 200 researchers. Pictured are Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General SFI, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell-O’Connor TD with researchers Rachel McLoughlin Trinity College Dublin and Eoin Casey UCD. Picture Jason Clarke

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell-O’Connor TD today announced nearly €40 million in research funding for 24 major research projects. The funding is distributed via Science Foundation Ireland’s Investigators Programme through a funding stream provided by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation. With awards ranging from €500,000 to €2.7 million over four to five year periods, projects funded by the Investigators Programme will support over 200 researchers.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said, “This funding provides an important platform for researchers to advance their investigations and further enhance Ireland’s reputation for excellence in sectors such as health, agriculture, marine, energy and technology. Engaging with 39 companies, the programme offers researchers the opportunity to develop their careers, as well as providing industry collaborators with access to the wealth of outstanding expertise and infrastructure found throughout the island. The alignment of the Investigators Programme with Horizon 2020, the European Union’s research funding programme, will lead to further successes in leveraging EU resources and increasing international collaboration. The projects within this programme clearly demonstrate excellent and impactful research which is a key goal of the Government’s science and innovation strategy – Innovation 2020.”

To drive national success in Horizon 2020, the SFI Investigator Programme involved the collaborative participation of a number of Government Departments and funding agencies. Co-funding for seven of the projects is being provided by the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland (DfE), the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI), the Marine Institute (MI), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland added, “The Science Foundation Ireland Investigators Programme supports the highest standard of impactful research, as clearly demonstrated by the outcomes of previous awards.  I have high expectations for these projects; all have undergone rigorous peer review by international experts and we have funded only those projects deemed to be at the pinnacle of scientific excellence. As well as providing an important platform for engagement in Horizon 2020, the programme also creates training and employment opportunities, promotes industrial collaboration and drives advances in energy, agriculture, science, technology and health which will benefit Ireland’s economy and society.” 

The 24 research projects funded are in a range of strategically important sectors.  A further ten projects were also deemed scientifically excellent and impactful by the International Review Panel and are on a reserve list to be funded, if budgets permit later in the year.

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