Cork’s Tyndall National Institute secures over €56m in EU research funds

Latest EU award brings to 100 the number of Tyndall projects to secure European funding

Minister for Further and Higher Education and Research Simon Harris has paid tribute to the Tyndall National Institute in Cork after it surpassed more than 100 EU funded awards totalling over €56 million for research projects.

Mr Harris said that the Tyndall's securing of over 100 Horizon 2020 awards totalling some €56.1 million from the EU for research and innovation over the past seven years made it one of the most successful institutes in Ireland for European funding.

“Horizon 2020 is a highly competitive programme with excellence at its core, and achieving the milestone of 100 funded projects by Tyndall to date demonstrates the high calibre and quality of Irish research,” said Mr Harris.

“This success cements Tyndall as one of Europe’s leading institutes in the area of ‘deep-tech’, the use of advanced technology that will have a profound effect on the lives of citizens, as well as industry through robotics, engineering, smart industry and medical devices.”


Named after prominent 19th century Irish physicist, John Tyndall and established in 2004 as a successor to the National Microelectronics Research Centre established at UCC in 1982, the Tyndall is a leading research centre employing over 460 researchers, engineers and support staff.

Speaking at the launch the Tyndall’s 2019 annual report, Mr Harris said that industry- academia collaboration such as occurs at the Tyndall was the driver for the successful translation of research in the laboratory into innovative new products and services in the marketplace.

“The ground-breaking work delivered by the Institute will transform our high-tech economy and secure Ireland’s future as a worldwide technology leader, whilst supporting key Irish technology companies and SMEs leading to the creation and retention of high quality sustainable jobs,” he said.

European average

According to the Tyndall annual report for 2019, which will be published on Thursday by Minister Harris in a virtual ceremony, some 17 new projects alone were funded by H2020 in 2019 to the value of €10million, a success rate that is three times higher than the European average.

And it has been assessed that, for every €1 of EU funding channelled through the research framework programme, approximately €11 is generated in direct and indirect economic effects through innovations, new technologies and products.

In the 2019 Annual Report, Tyndall reported income of €42million, up 17 per cent on 2018, which includes €32million from competitive research projects, incorporating the €10 million in H2020 funding as well as €7 million in government grants and a €2 million contribution from University College Cork.

Tyndall CEO, Prof William Scanlon said: "2019 was another phenomenally successful year for the Institute, building on our position as a leading centre of scale in translational research while continuing to further the development of deep-tech innovation in Ireland.

“Our success rate in securing H2020 funding is over three times the European average, and 2019 brought in over €10million alone. Tyndall is also the main Irish beneficiary in EU ICT funding as well as the principal contributor to UCC’s position in the top five ICT-funded universities Europe-wide.”

Prof Scanlon said that Tyndall consistently ranks in the top performers in the EU for Information Communication Technology (ICT) research funding and that in 2019, it continued to strengthen "critical knowledge transfer activities" with partners across the globe including Intel and Seagate.

“Our Tyndall 2025 goal is to be the international research partner of choice and to build on Tyndall’s 40 years of research excellence and industrial impact and to significantly scale to address societal challenges through deep-tech innovation,” he said.

Enabling technologies

Under the H2020 programme, Tyndall has driven forward the research and development of key enabling technologies across micro-electronics, nano-electronics and photonics, advanced materials and nanotechnologies, life-sciences, and artificial intelligence.

According to Dr Giorgios Fagas, Head of EU Programmes at Tyndall, these key enabling technologies in turn translate into smart products and digital solutions for the manufacturing industry, medical technologies, agricultural processes, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability.

"The Irish economy has ultimately been the major beneficiary of these funds. Over €51million of this has gone to our Irish partners, including 23 SMEs and 15 multi-nationals. Over 100 high value jobs have been created through these Horizon 2020 projects in Ireland," said Dr Fagas.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times