Mark Ferguson

SFI announces four new research centres

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Pictured: SFI Director General Prof Mark Ferguson

3 May 2017

Science Foundation Ireland is to invest €72 million over the next six years in four new research centres. The new centres will be supported by 80 industry partners providing an additional €38 million to support cutting-edge basic and applied research involving leading industry and academic experts over the last 12 months.

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 announcement marks the third tranche of funding under the SFI Research Centres Programme. The first seven SFI Research Centres were established in 2013 and a further five were established 2015.

The four new centres will focus on 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.

Prof 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.”

The new SFI Research Ccentres involve collaborative partnerships between research bodies in Ireland and funded researchers participating from institutions 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 and Waterford Institute of Technology.

The centres will be formally launched in September 2017.

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