The Department of Further and Higher Education, Innovation, Research and Science has announced millions in funding for scientific research this week.
Yesterday, Minister of Further and Higher Education Simon Harris announced €16.2 million from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) to fund research projects in the technological universities (TUs) and institutes of technology (ITs) across Ireland.
The funding will support 15 collaborative projects, known as SFI Frontiers for Partnership Awards, with the aim of increasing research capacity within technological universities and institutes of technology.
The SFI Frontiers for Partnership Awards support research proposals led by the technological universities sector with partners from the established university sector.
The collaborative projects will conduct research in areas such as the development of a traceability tool for seafood, sheep breeding, cancer therapies, tremor in Parkinson’s disease, and reducing energy use in artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
One of the awardees, Dr Suresh Pillai of Atlantic Technological University, is collaborating with Professor Paula Colavita in Trinity.
Their research aims to develop low-cost materials to allow commercial hydrogen production from renewable sources. This project is co-funded by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
Speaking yesterday, Harris highlighted the importance of these research projects in the TU’s development: “In order for TUs to grow and reach their full potential, we need to ensure they have the ability to deliver impactful research and this funding allows them to do that.”
“This research will address key areas too, such as healthcare and climate change,” he added.
The Director General of SFI, Professor Phillip Nolan, wished success for these projects: “We have developed this programme following detailed consultation with the sector.”
“It is important we provide the support to build excellent research capacity in our Technological Universities and Institutes of Technology, and working in partnership with their colleagues in the wider University sector is an excellent way to do this,” Nolan continued.
Nolan added: “I wish the awardees every success with these projects.”
This announcement comes during National Science Week, which takes place this year from November 13 to November 20.