Funding of €40 million for North-South research announced

Collaborative cross-border projects between third level researchers to be prioritised

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the scale of the funding ‘sends a clear signal of the Government’s commitment to fostering North-South research collaborations’. File photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the scale of the funding ‘sends a clear signal of the Government’s commitment to fostering North-South research collaborations’. File photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

 

The Government has announced €40 million for a North-South research programme under the Shared Island Fund.

The package is intended to support deepening of links between higher education institutions (HEIs), researchers and research communities on the island of Ireland – and is the single largest allocation from the €500 million fund to date.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris announced details of the programme on Monday.

“All island research cooperation is one of my Government’s top priorities and the allocation of €40 million from the Shared Island Fund...sends a clear signal of our commitment to foster new North-South research collaborations,” Mr Martin said.

The programme will bring individual researchers, research teams and third level institutions North and South together, collaborating across a range of areas and work programmes, he added.

Already there is significant co-operation on research of mutual interest including environment and water quality; agriculture and food product development, and addressing climate change.

This work will build on the cooperation which already exists between partner institutions “on the issues that matter to all of us”, Mr Harris confirmed.

“This funding will support individual researchers based in an Irish HEI to collaborate with a researcher in a HEI in Northern Ireland on an identified research project, or research teams to collaborate on an agreed work programme,” he added.

Higher Education Authority chief executive Dr Alan Wall said the funding would enable the HEA to support a range of cross-border research projects of varying sizes and across disciplines.

“The programme will build on our successful programme for research in third level institutions approach, whereby we supported comprehensive capability-building across the research system,” he said.

The funding will support individual researchers on both sides of the Border and emerging hubs of excellence. The largest funding, however, will be provided for collaboration between HEIs taking into account their respective strategic research priorities. They will be able to receive up to €1 million a year over four years in total.