Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland

Ireland ranks in top 10 countries for Computer Science research

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Pictured: Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General, SFI

31 July 2014

Ireland ranks fourth in the world for Computer Science research according to Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) annual report for 2014. The state body responsible for overseeing the administration of research grants to third level institutions also found Ireland ranked first in the world for Immunology and Animal & Dairy sciences, third for Nanoscience and sixth for Materials Science.

SFI succeeded in meeting all of its targets under the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs while its remit was further expanded under the Industrial Development (Science Foundation Ireland) (Amendment) Act.

The report also found a total of €152 million was invested in 307 new research awards to 20 institutions around the country, supporting some 2,656 researchers. Some 54 patents were registered over the past year with 27 technologies licensed for use in industry and four spin-out companies were created. SFI-funded researchers also secured €56 million in EU grants over the year.

One of the key achievements for SFI in 2013 was the successful delivery of seven new world leading research centres through the largest ever Government-Industry funding collaboration with a total investment of €300 million over six years.

The centres support growth areas such as Big Data Analytics which are targeted in the National Research Prioritisation Exercise and also the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs.

The centres will support over 800 research positions and are anticipated to lead to the creation of up to 1,000 jobs and a number of spin-out companies.

Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “Importantly during 2013 SFI fostered the development of the academic/industrial research ecosystem in Ireland. Later this year, the SFI Spokes Programme will allow new industry partners, new research projects and new capabilities to be added to the seven SFI Research Centres delivered in 2013. Our new Industry Fellowship programme provides an important career development pathway for Ireland’s researchers and a major opportunity for both multinational companies and indigenous enterprises which will in turn lead to increased employment levels and further economic development.”

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