Some 29 groundbreaking projects focused on areas that include sub-sea robotic drilling and the use of artificial intelligence-driven drones to detect drug smuggling, are to receive a combined €95 million in State funding over the next three years.
The funding is being awarded through the €500 million Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund, which was established in 2018 under Project Ireland 2040.
The latest awards bring to €235 million the amount provided to projects under the fund. Some €140 million has previously been provided to 47 projects under the programme, which is aimed at exploiting research to deliver new technologies and solutions.
Among the projects to be awarded funding this time are ones that cover areas such as life sciences, medical devices, ICT, AI, manufacturing and environmental sustainability.
Successful projects include an attempt to develop an adhesive that will stick broken bone tissue together following fracture, allowing it to heal faster, and the use of nanotechnology to reduce emissions by 40 per cent in industrial heating and cooling systems.
The largest amount awarded is €7 million, to a consortium consisting of Relevium Medical, HiTech Health and National University of Galway which is developing a regenerative treatment for knee osteoarthritis using a hydrogel-based therapeutic.
“Disruptive” technologies are technologies that are seen to have the potential to significantly alter markets and/or the way that businesses operate. While they may involve new products or processes, such technologies can also involve the emergence of alternative business models.
All projects chosen under the latest call involve collaborations of between three and eight partners, including SMEs, multinational corporations and research organisations. SME participation is an integral part of the fund, with 62 SMEs among the 111 organisations involved and 22 leading their project.
"These new technologies will create high-quality jobs in existing and emerging sectors, now and over the coming decades," said Leo Varadkar, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. "There is a good spread of partners, based all around Ireland, highlighting the strength of our enterprise and research base all across the country."