Irish Research Council and Science Foundation Ireland announce merger

The Research and Innovation Bill will create a new agency to work with researchers in Ireland and abroad

The Irish Research Council (IRC) and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) will merge to form a new research agency. 

The Research and Innovation Bill, which was approved by government yesterday, will introduce a new Research and Innovation funding agency. 

The agency, currently known as Research and Innovation Ireland, will aim to “drive world class research and innovation” by working with other research funders and enterprises both in Ireland and abroad. 

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris welcomed the introduction of the agency as a way to drive innovation in arts, humanities and STEM. 

“This is an exciting day for research and innovation in Ireland as we take another vital step towards achieving the overarching objective of Impact 2030,” Harris said. “[It will] ensure that Ireland’s collective research and innovation investments and activities make as big a difference as possible to as many people as possible.”

The introduction of this agency is part of Impact 2030, Ireland’s current research and innovation strategy.

Harris said: “This is essential in order to ensure that Ireland has a resilient and agile research base that can make a substantive impact on national challenges and opportunities.”

Director General of SFI Professor Philip Nolan welcomed the merger with the IRC: “The Government recognises that the global grand challenges that face us, from mitigating climate change to addressing poverty and inequality, require research, research expertise and talent across a very wide range of academic disciplines.”

“We at SFI look forward to working with our colleagues in the IRC, and with our national and international research communities, to build on our strengths and achievements, and realise this opportunity.”

Director of the IRC Dr Louise Cullen said the aims of Impact 2030 will “support fundamental as well as applied research across all disciplines and career stages strongly signals the intention to create an inclusive infrastructure of support so that all researchers can thrive”. 

Ellen Kenny

Ellen Kenny is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News and a Senior Sophister student of Politics and Sociology. She previously served as Assistant Editor and Features Editor