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Nine UCD teams awarded funding under final rounds of €65m National Challenge Fund

Posted 14 September, 2023

Members of the UCD SHIFT research team - SHIFT stands for; 'Sustainable and Healthy InFrastructure by reducing stress during active Travel'

Nine teams from University College Dublin have been announced as the latest entries in the National Challenges Fund - a €65m fund aiming to accelerate research addressing national challenges in the areas of Green Transition and Digital Transformation.

The final two Challenges - the Sustainable Communities Challenge and the Future Food Systems Challenge have now begun with 25 teams joining more than 70 others competing for prize awards of €1m or €2m in continued funding. 

The Challenges are structured so that professional researchers must engage directly with the potential beneficiaries to ensure they're responding to their communities’ needs.

The successful UCD teams are:

Sustainable Communities Challenge

Future Food Systems Challenge

“The National Challenge Fund is both a marathon and a sprint for these researchers. They are committing to solving long-term problems but they need to develop their ideas quickly and validate their solutions to keep unlocking funding each year,”  said Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD.

“This kind of solutions-driven research will help us to tackle the big societal changes we face as we become a green and digital country, and I am already looking forward to the years ahead as we see the projects advance. 

Adding: “I am particularly pleased to see the diversity of researchers – coming from all career stages, and from across the higher education network, as we work to make our professional research community representative of modern Ireland.”

Science Foundation Ireland Director General Professor Philip Nolan said: “We know that sustainable living is important for our long-term stability and productivity as a nation. These projects will work to accelerate research towards implementation so that there will be better, less wasteful options for us to use in the future.

“It is really important that these solutions are developed with the people who are going to use them, and that they actually respond to their needs. I am delighted that so many researchers responded to the Challenges and that they are committed to working at such a pace to deliver real change in such diverse arenas.” 

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations (with materials from Emma Loughney, UCD Research and Innovation)

To contact the UCD News & Content Team, email: newsdesk@ucd.ie