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Posted: November 13, 2007
Ireland announces Euro 87 million research initiative
(Nanowerk News) The Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, Micheál Martin T.D, today announced Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research investment awards amounting to €87 million across a number of groundbreaking industry-academic projects.
This is the largest funding award made by SFI under its Centres for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) and the new Strategic Research Clusters (SRC) programmes. The awards will support one CSET and twelve SRCs.
Describing the strategic importance of the awards, Minister Martin said; “SFI has established some of the most significant and innovative awards offered anywhere in the world for research that brings together academic and industrial partners. Measures such as the SFI CSETs and SRCs provide the mechanisms for new innovative research and entrepreneurial leadership and real opportunities for re-shaping Ireland’s economy through science. These collaborations therefore are central to the Government’s long-term economic strategy in building Ireland’s new knowledge-driven economy”.
The Minister stated, that “these projects are powerful agents for linking indigenous and multi-national companies with researchers in Ireland’s institutes of higher learning. The research being undertaken by today’s award recipients represents tangible examples of the Government’s Strategy for Science Technology and Innovation 2006-2013 to create and sustain a lasting indigenous research base that produces ideas, products, and jobs based on knowledge and innovation”.
The award recipients work in the fields underpinning Biotechnology (BIO) and Information Communications Technology (ICT) across 11 academic institutions in Ireland. These researchers are playing a pivotal role in growing partnerships with industry involving a total of 48 distinct companies and capturing the interest of both multinational corporations and indigenous companies.
The Minister added, that he was delighted with the high quality human capital involved in the projects, “as a result of this investment in these new research clusters approximately 490 highly qualified personnel, including, senior researchers (PrincipaI Investigators), Post Docs, and PhD Students will participate in cutting edge research projects”.
Professor Frank Gannon, Director General SFI, added; “Today’s research award recipients and the teams that they have assembled are of world-class calibre. I believe that the initiatives to be undertaken by SFI over the coming seven years will provide a cornerstone for Ireland's future economic development, with CSETs and SRCs playing a key role”.
The funding follows a rigorous review and assessment process and all award recipients were assessed by international scientific experts. In total 50 internationally renowned scientist came to Ireland and participated in the site review process.
“This is clear evidence that Ireland is now recognised as an international location for high quality scientific research”, Professor Gannon added.