850 research jobs to be supported with investment in science research

Government announces €230 million funding for six ‘world-leading’ research centres

Minister for Innovation Heather Humphreys  said the investment is set to benefit the whole country and third level institutions in particular, who partner with the SFI research centres. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Minister for Innovation Heather Humphreys said the investment is set to benefit the whole country and third level institutions in particular, who partner with the SFI research centres. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

 

Investment of almost half a billion euro in cutting-edge science research is set to support the work of up to 850 researchers over the coming years.

The Government announced on Thursday that it will invest €230 million in six Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research centres .

The investment is buoyed by industry support with 170 industry partners committing to investing over €230 million in cash and in-kind contributions over the next six years, bringing total investment of €460 million.

Minister for Innovation Heather Humphreys TD, said the investment is set to benefit the whole country and third level institutions in particular, who partner with the SFI research centres.

She said research work done to date has positioned Ireland as a “world leader” in research, further strengthening our global credibility across a number of different sectors.

“Our research centres not only act as magnets to attract and retain investment; they also encourage companies, both Irish and foreign-owned, to develop their research and development activities here. This will continue to benefit Ireland and the world for years to come,” Ms Humphreys said.

The research centres are set to focus on a diverse range of areas including marine renewable energy, gut health, data analytics, advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing and advanced materials.

For example, the research programme for Amber, the SFI research centre for advance materials and bioengineering research led by Trinity College Dublin, is to focus on achieving faster computing and communications as well as improving materials for energy efficiency.

Under a new funding model, all six SFI research centres are scaling up funding from private sources so only one third of their funding over the six years will now come from Science Foundation Ireland.

Professor Mark Ferguson, director general of SFI and chief scientific adviser to the Government, said its research centres have made “incredible progress”, in terms of increased academic and industrial collaboration, training PhD students for industry, winning competitive funding from the EU and producing excellent scientific results and public engagement.

“We look forward to continued support from the Government and industry as we move forward, increasing our ability to positively impact both society and the economy through excellent scientific research,” he said.