Monday, February 25 10:57:25
The Government today announced a landmark E300m investment in scientific research, which is closely aligned to industry and enterprise needs, job opportunities with E200m from the State and E100m from industry.
The cash will be invested in seven world class research centres of scale, according to Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Sean Sherlock, Minister for Research and Innovation.
The new funding will be delivered through Science Foundation Ireland's (SFI) Research Centres Programme coupled with over E100 million in cash and in-kind contributions from industry partners, making it the largest ever combined state/industry co-funding announcement of its kind in the research field in Ireland. The funding will be provided over the next six years with a mid-term review. Thus far 156 industry partners are connected to the centres, spanning multinationals and SMEs, including Cisco, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Medtronic, GSK, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, BT, Kerry Group, The Irish Times, ESB, Alere, Intune Networks, Intel, IBM, RTE, Roche, UTRC Ireland and many more.
Among the research activities funded are "Big Data", a sector currently growing at up to 40pc per annum; advanced food research based around microbes which live in the gut; world-leading research to take advantage of Ireland's natural advantages in marine energies and research to develop screening and diagnostic tests for perinatal and neonatal conditions.
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said, "A key part of the Government's Action Plan for Jobs is to build on the major achievements in scientific research we have built up over the past decade and turn more good ideas into good jobs. Today's announcement will lead to the establishment in Ireland of world-class centres of research excellence and scale which will be game-changers for Irish scientific research."
"The E300million investment announced today, and the seven new, large-scale, world-class research centres it will support, are aimed at achieving a step-change in the reputation and performance of Ireland's research system. This will support more than 800 talented scientists, develop cutting-edge research and new technologies, attract dynamic partnerships with industry and ultimately help to create the jobs we need."
Speaking at the announcement the Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock TD said, "This is a landmark moment in the evolution of Ireland's research system which will deliver major economic and societal benefits for Ireland in the years to come. Today's unprecedented funding announcement will help deliver the quality jobs of the future for Ireland in a range of areas such as information and communications technology; internet based services; pharmaceuticals; medical technologies and energy amongst other things."
Minister Sherlock added, "The sheer scale of the industry involvement with a commitment so far of over E100m also indicates a major endorsement of Ireland's research capability. Industry globally clearly recognizes that this is a really good country in which to conduct their business. Today also delivers another milestone for this Government's Research Prioritisation objectives, with SFI leading the way. Importantly, these centres will also strongly position Irish based scientists with EU research programmes, and should enable us to win further significant investments to these shores in the coming years."