11 Trinity researchers awarded funding from SFI

The researchers will share over €1 million in funding for projects across a number of areas

11 researchers from Trinity have been awarded funding from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) as part of its Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA). The researchers will share over €1 million in funding for projects across a number of areas, including alternative biofuels, gene therapy for epilepsy and esophageal cancer treatment.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation and Research and Development John Halligan TD announced the funding today, a total of €4.5 million for 38 different research projects.

The School of Chemistry’s Professor Yurii Gun’ko was awarded €125,630 for his research into water purification. His development of environmentally safe membranes and absorbants for complex water treatment aims to develop a new, more effective method of obtaining clean water.

Professor Stephen Dooley from the School of Physics has been awarded €122,213 for his research, which attempts to create petrol and diesel from household and plant waste. Developing biofuels for use in transport as an alternative to fossil fuels presents an opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions. The research will aim at assessing the feasibility and the cost of producing “bio-petrol” and “bio-diesel” as alternatives to fossil-derived fuels.

Dr Matthew Campbell from the School of Genetics was awarded €125,610 for gene therapy-based approach to epilepsy treatment. His research will investigate whether the gene claudin-5, when reintroduced to the seizure region of the brain, will prevent seizure activity in patients whose epilepsy is not being controlled by medicine.

Other Trinity researchers who were awarded funding were Dr Stephen Maher, Dr James Phelan, Dr Rocco Lupoi, Dr Sarah Doyle, Prof Ed Lavelle, Prof Jacintha O’Sullivan, Prof Michael Morris and Prof Peter Humphries.

Speaking of the awards, Minister Heather Humphreys said: “I am delighted to announce the recipients of the SFI TIDA Awards and commercialisation support for 38 research projects. The programme is aligned with a number of key Government strategies including Innovation 2020, the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship  in Ireland and Project Ireland 2040. It will develop important entrepreneurship skills and commercialisation capabilities, ensuring Ireland maintains its position as a leader in cutting-edge research.”

This is the tenth year of TIDA, which aims to enable researchers to focus on the initial stages of applied research which shows potential commercial benefit. The funding allows researchers to demonstrate the viability of their projects and whether they have potential for further commercial development. The funding is provided to projects across a range of disciplines in Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM).

Grace Breen

Grace Breen is the current SciTech News Editor of Trinity News. She is a Senior Sophister Physics and Astrophysics student.