Science Foundation Ireland launches four new research centres

SFI Centre Launch
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tanaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation Frances Fitzgerald

Government, industry invest €114m in advanced additive and smart manufacturing, neurological diseases, bioeconomy research

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7 September 2017 | 0

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Tanaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald, and Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research & Development John Halligan were on hand today for the launch of four new Science Foundation Ireland Research Centres.

The centres represent an investment of €74 million from the government over the next six years, with a further €40 million from industry to support basic and applied research.

The four SFI Research Centres will engage in over 80 collaborations including Action Point, Analog Devices, Daqri, IBM, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, United Technologies Research Centre Ireland, and VistaMed.

Of the four centres, Confirm aims to transform Ireland’s manufacturing industry to become a world-leader in smart manufacturing; Beacon will addresses the scientific, technological and social challenges in the ‘bioeconomy’; FutureNeuro is focused on addressing the socio-economic burden caused by chronic and rare neurological diseases; and I- Form Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre will enhance processing efficiency for Irish manufacturing, allowing the production of highly customised 3D-printed components.

Speaking at the launch of the four new SFI Research Centres, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar said: “Investing in leading-edge scientific and technological research is good for our economy and helps us to discover new innovations which can improve our quality of life. Our SFI Research Centres represent a virtuous triangle between government, industry and higher education, and show just what can be achieved when there is a shared vision about reaching your ambitions.”

Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General, SFI, and Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of Ireland said: “In 2016, Ireland achieved for the first time a world ranking of 10th for the overall quality of its scientific research, an increase of 26 places in only 13 years.

“SFI Research Centres are making important scientific advances, enhancing enterprise and industry, training students with critical, in-demand skills, supporting regional development, and enhancing Ireland’s international reputation. Research and innovation matter for our future – they make the difference in enhancing productivity and boosting competitiveness and to tackling the societal challenges of our time: building a digitally-smart, low carbon, energy efficient, circular economy that offers well-paid, rewarding work and brings a good quality of life for all.”

“These new SFI Research Centres will continue this upward trajectory by attracting leading Irish and international researchers, winning competitive international funding, and establishing sustained fruitful partnerships with industry. For young researchers, like students undertaking PhDs or those progressing to post-doctoral research, these centres will provide opportunities for them to develop in strategic areas of scientific research, while also providing unparalleled training in entrepreneurship and science communication.”

The new SFI Research Centres involve strong collaborative partnerships between research bodies in Ireland including Athlone Institute of Technology, Beaumont Hospital, Cork Institute of Technology, Dublin City University, Mater Hospital, Maynooth University, NUI Galway, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Teagasc, Temple Street Children’s Hospital, Trinity College Dublin, Tyndall National Institute (UCC), University College Cork, University College Dublin, University of Limerick, Limerick Institute of Technology and Waterford Institute of Technology.

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