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Posted 31 January 2013

14 UCD researchers awarded Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Investigator Programme Funding

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD and the Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock TD, have announced funding totalling €60million towards 85 pioneering research initiatives, 14 of which are based at UCD.

“The investigators are to be congratulated. This was a tough competition at a time when research funding is under pressure,” said Professor Desmond Fitzgerald, Vice-President for Research at University College Dublin.

“UCD has developed a world-class research community that through its partnerships with over 350 companies is contributing to employment and economic recovery. It is encouraging that investment in research and innovation remains a key strategy of government.”

The projects are funded through the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation via Science Foundation Ireland.

The 14 UCD researchers awarded SFI Investigator funding include:

According to SFI, the top-class projects focus on a range of national research priority areas identified by Government as key for developing new commercial products and services from scientific research, including ICT, health/life sciences, energy and manufacturing competitiveness.

“A central part of this Government’s plan for jobs and growth is to ensure that this research is better targeted at turning the good ideas of researchers into good products and good jobs,” said Minister Bruton.

“Approximately 50% of IDA’s company announcements last year had links with Science Foundation Ireland funded researchers. By supporting these world-class researchers in their ground-breaking work we will ensure that we continue to maintain, attract and develop dynamic companies and create the quality jobs we need.”

Also speaking at the announcement, Minister Sherlock said: “Over the past decade, Ireland has invested heavily in R&D and the rewards are clearly visible. What is particularly heartening about today’s announcement is that much of this excellent research, which was selected competitively following international peer review, is being done in collaboration with companies who are seeking to find new products and services, including IBM Ireland, Intel Ireland, HP, EMC and Bord Gáis.

I want to strongly commend SFI on leading on delivery of Government’s Research Prioritisation objectives. I have no doubt that today’s Investigators awards announcement of the over 80 oriented basic research projects will deliver real economic and societal impacts for Ireland.”

The individual research projects funded, range in size and scale from approximately €200,000 to €2.7milllion over the next 5 years and cover a broad range of scientific topics.

Science Foundation Ireland’s Investigator Programme is designed to support the development of world-class research and human capital in the areas of science, engineering and mathematics that demonstrably support and underpin enterprise competitiveness and societal development in Ireland.

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI, said: “These 85 funded research projects were selected from 419 applications following rigorous competitive peer review and ranking by eminent international scientists. This 20% success rate is comparable to international funding success rates for example that of the National Institutes of Health, USA at 18%.”

“Each project has great potential to impact positively on Ireland’s future: both economically and societally,” he said.


(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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14 UCD scientists awarded Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Investigator Programme Funding
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