Irish-French partnership offers €5,000 research grants

EirGrid and French-based Réseau de Transport d’Électricité will see support projects on renewable energies and smart grids

The Irish Research Council and the Embassy of France in Ireland have revealed the details of new strategic partnerships for a programme that supports collaborations between Irish- and French-based researchers.

As part of the Ulysses programme, grants of up to €5,000 are offered to researchers to support visits linked to mutual research projects. It funds an average of 15 projects per year, but the 2019 budget has been increased to €100,000 and will allow for at least 20 projects.

Among the new partnerships is a deal between electricity transmission system operator EirGrid and French-based Réseau de Transport d’Électricité that will see them support projects on renewable energies and smart grids.

The Health Research Board and Inserm, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, will partner to support research projects looking at patient-oriented research, population health or health services research.


Finally, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and the French Environment and Energy Management Agency, ADEME, will focus on research relating to climate change.

"The addition of our new strategic partners will add greatly to the success of the programme," said director of the Irish Research Council, Peter Brown. "Researchers at different career stages will be given the opportunity to collaborate on important topics that will contribute to new knowledge and innovation in our societies.

Among the projects that were funded by the scheme last year were exploratory data analysis for poetry; manganese-enhanced MRI as an early diagnostic technique for lung cancer; and how to reshape cities.

The scheme is in its 21st year and has supported more than 600 Irish- and French-based researchers in establishing new collaboratons and professional networks of researchers and institutes.

“This expansion, 20 years after the launch of the first Ulysses funding scheme, demonstrates the vibrancy of scientific cooperation between France and Ireland as well as the strong partnership between the Embassy and the Irish Research Council,” said French ambassador to Ireland Stéphane Crouzat.

“It is the first instance in the world that a Hubert Curien partnership benefits from additional funding through industry operators, such as the Irish energy network operator EirGrid and its French counterpart, Réseau de Transport d’Électricité. It is also very significant that several agencies have decided to take part in this programme.”

Further information on the scheme and how to apply is available here.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist