News & Views

  • Professor Mark Ferguson

€72 million Investment in new SFI Research Centres

Jun 19 2017 Read 337 Times

Science Foundation Ireland is to invest €72 million over the next six years in four new world-class SFI Research Centres in Ireland. The new centres will be supported by 80 industry partners who will provide an additional €38 million to support cutting-edge basic and applied research with strong industry engagement, economic and societal impact.

Innovation 2020, the Government’s five-year strategy for research and development, science and technology, directs that the network of SFI Research Centres should be further developed to build critical mass in strategic areas of research strength and address enterprise needs.

The current investment is the third tranche of funding under the SFI Research Centres Programme which has seen seven SFI Research Centres established in 2013 and five more in 2015 all of which are recognised for research excellence, attracting talent and funding to Ireland as well as excellence in supporting basic and applied research across Higher Education Institutions.

The four new SFI Research Centres will address Smart manufacturing IT and industrial automation systems, biological resources as alternative materials to finite fossil resources; Innovative techniques and processes in additive manufacturing; and diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of chronic and rare neurological diseases.

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of Ireland said: “Our existing 12 SFI Research Centres are outstanding international examples of applied and basic combined (ABC) research. They are making important scientific advances, enhancing enterprise and industry, developing critical skills, supporting regional development, and enhancing Ireland’s international reputation. They are drivers of Ireland’s increased rankings in research and innovation over the last number of years. They are also an important engine for the economy; companies engaged with the SFI Research Centres are located all over Ireland and globally. The commitment of industry and academic bodies to come together to develop these new SFI Research Centres clearly demonstrates the potential economic and societal impact of the planned research. I look forward to working with the four new SFI Research Centres on their road to becoming world-class centres of research excellence.”

Four further SFI Research Centre proposals were approved in principle by the SFI Board following stringent assessment by international peer review. SFI is seeking additional funding to support these centres over the next six years. These proposed SFI Research Centres will address technologies to support production of dairy products, mapping molecular causes of diseases using Systems Biology, inflammation and innate immunology and advanced biopharmaceutical manufacturing.

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