Government invests €6.9m in new research

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23 May 2013 | 0

Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD, has today announced Government funding through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) of €6.9 million encompassing 62 research awards.

The investment is being made through SFI’s Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) programme, in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland.

Minister Sherlock said: "The TIDA programme focuses on commercially relevant research projects. It will enable numerous research teams to take the first steps in developing new discoveries and inventions with commercial potential."

Amongst the research activities being funded are Big Data; the development of new drugs for cancer treatment and diabetes; new ways to detect cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease; research to develop genetically modified crops tolerant to drought; underground high-voltage power cable technology as a substitute to overhead power lines; smart networked sensing systems in Agriculture; and projects supporting off-shore wind turbines, wi-fi technology and ultraviolet light sources for the pharmaceutical and semi-conductor sectors.

 

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Director general of SFI, Prof Mark Ferguson, said: "As set out in Agenda 2020, one of SFI’s strategic objectives is to become the best scientific funding agency in the world at creating impact from excellent research and demonstrating clear value for our research investment. Each submitted project has been through a rigorous review process and ultimate selection was on the basis of the quality and novelty of the proposed innovation, its potential impact, and its fit with the National Research Prioritisation areas. Additionally, the commercial expertise that Enterprise Ireland brought to the TIDA selection process played a key role in further underpinning the market potential of the award recipients."

Incorporated into the TIDA programme is an entrepreneurship training course to consolidate and intensify the entrepreneurial skills of postdoctoral researchers active in SFI funded research labs. This course, which will support over 100 personnel, is designed to develop the skills necessary for SFI funded researchers to assess the market for potential commercial developments from research discoveries.

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