Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has today published its 2016 annual report, highlighting the significant impact achieved from the €184 million investment by the agency across its research programmes.
The Foundation’s ongoing investments in outstanding research teams saw €169 million leveraged in 2016, comprising €71 million in EU funding, €45 million from private enterprise and €53 million from other sources.
Other key indicators demonstrating the successes achieved by Science Foundation Ireland in 2016 include:
• The direct and indirect support of 31,000 jobs
• Support of over 1,600 industry collaborations
• Funded researchers being involved in 2,359 international academic collaborations in 63 countries
According to the report, a key priority for Science Foundation Ireland in 2017 will be to support its new SFI Research Centres. Announced last month, following rigorous international review, eight SFI Research Centres have been identified as meeting the highest standard for scientific excellence and potential future impact. Science Foundation Ireland has funding to support four of these and will invest €72 million over the next six years, with 80 industry partners committing an additional €38 million.
To date, the SFI Research Centres have delivered 300 collaborations with industry, 13 spin-out companies, 190 Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Awards, and 100 license agreements. Income secured from industry commitments and international funding sources in the last four years equates to a direct financial return of almost 70% of the full State investment in SFI Research Centres, in only four years of operation.
Welcoming today's report, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald said, "Lives are being improved through technological and medical advances, and high-quality sustainable jobs are being created. Ireland’s future stability and growth is more assured as a result of Science Foundation Ireland’s investments in Irish research and I greatly welcome the progress this is driving.”