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Minister Harris announces 71 research grants through the SFI Frontiers for the Future Programme valued at €53 million
November 2, 2020

The research supported will impact areas such as spinal cord injury, novel materials, climate change, biodiversity in food production and waste, smart manufacturing, social connectivity, computer graphics, horse breeding, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and information security.

2 November 2020: Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD, has today announced 71 grants valued at €53 million to support frontiers research across 12 Higher Education Institutions through Science Foundation Ireland.

Commenting on the programme, Minister Harris said: “Congratulations to all the researchers who have received funding today as part of the SFI Frontiers for the Future Programme. I am delighted to support this programme which funds individual-led research, with an emphasis on areas of high-risk, high-reward, which will help us build a better future for Ireland through discovery, innovation, and impact.” 

“I am pleased to see the successful outcome of the new gender initiative that sees 45% of the research grants announced today led by female researchers. The funding will support researchers who are already carrying out excellent work in Ireland, as well as those in the early stages of their research careers who hold incredible potential.  It is through investment like this that Ireland will become an innovation leader and provide solutions and opportunities for our society and economy.”

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland said: “This was a highly competitive process and I’m delighted that we are able to fund 71 new research grants through the SFI Frontiers for the Future programme. These are highly skilled, talented, and dedicated researchers and it is crucial that we invest in their excellent ideas and research, to maintain and build on Ireland’s global standing in research, innovation, and discovery.  I would like to thank the Higher Education Institutions for their support in delivering this new programme.”

Working across 12 Higher Education Institutes, 231 research positions will be funded including 95 Postdoctoral scientists, 101 PhD students and 35 Research Assistants/others across a variety of different areas.

The programme also sought to provide opportunities to address gender imbalance in line with SFI’s Gender Strategy, 45% of the research grants supported will be led by female researchers.

The programme was run in collaboration with the Geological Survey Ireland (GSI) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 38 industrial collaborators are engaging in the research programmes.

The SFI Frontiers for the Future programme comprises two funding streams:

  • Projects – 45 high-risk, high-reward research projects will receive €25 million to facilitate highly innovative and novel approaches to research.
  • Awards – 26 larger scale innovative, collaborative excellent research programmes that have the potential to deliver economic and societal impact will receive €28m in funding.

Congratulations to six SSPC investigators, Sarah Hudson and Luis Padrela, Department of Chemical Sciences and the Bernal Institute, Norma Bargary, MACSI, University of Limerick, Marc Devocelle, Royal College of Surgeons, Eoin Scanlon and Stephen Connon, Trinity College Dublin, on securing funding under the SFI Frontiers for the Future Awards 2020. These awards provide large scale funding for innovative, collaborative and excellent research programmes that have the potential to deliver economic and societal impact.

Sarah Hudson, University of Limerick, Modular Release of Dual Acting Antimicrobial Peptides (MORE-AMP), €479,501.

Eoin Scanlan, Trinity College Dublin, Accelerated Microfluidic Thiol-ene Mediated Native Chemical Ligation for Synthesis and Manufacture of Peptide and Protein Therapeutics, €479,456.

Stephen Connon, Trinity College Dublin, Cooperative ionic species: a new direction in asymmetric nucleophilic catalysis, €479,879.

Norma Bargary and Andrew Simpkin, University of Limerick and NUI Galway, Functional data Analysis for Sensor Technologies, €467,569.

Marc Devocelle, RCSI, University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Antimicrobial Pegtides, €200,128.

Luis Padrela, University of Limerick, Controlled Nucleation for the Continuous Crystallization of Nano pharmaceuticals, €216,416.

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