Navigation

News Archive 2014

Minister Coveney Announces Grant Awards of over €20m for Agri-Food and Forest Research

Friday, 19 December, 2014 


The Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD, and the Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Forestry Tom Hayes TD with Prof. Helen Roche, UCD.

The Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD, and the Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Forestry Tom Hayes TD with Prof. Helen Roche, UCD.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD, and Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Forestry Tom Hayes TD, has announced awards of over €20 million for collaborative inter-institutional research projects under the Department’s FIRM, Stimulus and CoFoRD competitive research funding programmes.

The awards cover a broad range of research activities and are aligned to the ‘Sustainable Food Production and Processing’ and ‘Food for Health’ areas of National Research Prioritisation.

Minister Coveney said “this investment will build research capacity and capability in the Irish public research system and ultimately make a significant contribution to the sustainability and competitiveness of the Irish agri-food, forestry and aquaculture sectors.  It will also provide contract employment for 58 highly trained scientists as well as specialised scientific training for 53 post-graduate students”.

The Minister highlighted his ongoing commitment to research within the agri-food sector by stating that these research awards “brings the total investment made by my Department over the last 3 years to over €85 million.  This research is a key component in delivering on the ambitious targets set out in the Food Harvest 2020 strategy and the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs”.

The research spans health and welfare of livestock, sheep breeding, crop production, food safety at producer and processor level, competitiveness and sustainability of Irish aquaculture, a Sensory Food Science Network, marine materials as functional food ingredients, nutritional and health aspects of foods, private sector timber forecasting, wood use material flow and assessing Ireland’s risk to airborne spread of ash dieback disease.

Minister of State Tom Hayes, TD, with responsibility for Forestry, welcomed the forestry research awards, which are the first fruits of the ‘Forest Research Ireland’ agenda, which helped inform the CoFoRD part of this year’s Research Call.

The Minister also drew attention to the recently announced excellent results under the first Call of the agri-food and marine pillar of the EU Horizon 2020 Programme.

The following UCD PIs will lead these UCD-led projects:


Name of PI

School / Institute

Project Title

Prof Dolores O’Riordan

UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science and UCD Institute of Food and Health

Disaggregation of food consumption databases to raw agricultural commodity values for estimation of intakes of pesticide residues.

Prof Helen Roche

UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science and UCD Conway Institute

Novel nutritional solutions to combat chronic malnutrition in the elderly.

Dr Amalia Scannell

UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science

Application of Novel food processing and microanalytical technologies to identify and control spores, in dried food ingredients, and of biofilms in food processing environments-a systems microbiology approach to ensuring quality and safety.

Prof Francis Butler

UCD School of Biosystems Engineering

Developing a risk assessment framework for norovirus in Irish oyster production areas.

Dr Finola Leonard

UCD School of Veterinary Medicine

Investigation of respiratory disease in Irish pig farms, associated risk factors, and the relationship with performance, welfare and antimicrobial use.

Dr Jonathan Yearsley

UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science

Assessing Ireland's risk to airborne spread of ash dieback disease with Lagrangian stochastic models.

Dr Aine ni Dhubhain

UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science

Windthrow risk modeling.

The following UCD researchers will participate on projects that will be led by other institutions:

  • Helen Roche
  • Colm O’Donnell
  • Paul Whyte
  • Michael Doherty
  • Finola Leonard
  • Fiona Doohan
  • Tommy Boland
  • Doris Laepple
  • Gordon Purvis
  • Kevin McDonnell
  • Dolores O’Riordan
  • Maarten Niewenhuis
  • Elizabeth Shotton