€1.7m in funding for twenty new high-potential research projects announced

New industry-academia partnerships formed to conduct research into a number of key sectors

Mark Ferguson, Director of of SFI Science Foundation Ireland, photographed in the Science Gallery, Dublin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/Irish Times

Mark Ferguson, Director of of SFI Science Foundation Ireland, photographed in the Science Gallery, Dublin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/Irish Times

Mon, Jun 9, 2014, 08:38

More than €1.7 million in funding has been made available to support twenty new high-potenial industry-academia partnerships.

The funding, which is being provided through the Science Foundation Ireland’s Industry Fellowship Programme, is to be used to support research projects in a number of areas including animal health, smart grid, marine, solar energy, transport and mobility studies, and diagnostics in oncology.

The funded projects supported include new technology to enable industry to map the sea bed using remote sensing techniques and to improve the capacity of the electrity network to take on renewable power.

The SFI Industry Fellowship Programme is meant to provide researchers from academic institutions with the opportunity to gain important first-hand experience in a commercial research environment, while also providing industry with access to highly specialised trained researchers from academic institutions. The aim of the programme is to increase levels of collaboration between industry and academia.

“The Industry Fellowship programme is an important element of SFI’s Agenda 2020 which aims to build strategic partnerships between industry and academic institutions, to encourage cutting-edge research and further grow Ireland’s competitive advantage,” said Prof Mark Ferguson, director general of Science Foundation Ireland and chief scientific adviser to the Government.

“The awards will provide academic researchers with practical working knowledge of relevant business drivers as well as legitimate industry experience and important industry contacts. Industry partners participating in the programme will gain from the up skilling of staff and input into their research and development. The partnerships will in turn provide an important stepping stone for fuelling future collaborations between industry and academia,” he added.

A total of eight academic institutions are involved in the research projects including University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, Tyndall National Institute, University of Limerick, National University of Ireland Galway, National University of Ireland Maynooth and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

Companies participating in the programme include Siemens, Alcatel-Lucent Ireland, Bell Labs Ireland, Crystal Innovation, ESB Networks, IBM, Intel Ireland, Orbsen Therapeutics, Pavement Management Services, Tech Works Marine, TreeMetrics, Westway Health, AstraZeneca, AMGEN, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and Perkin Elmer.