The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD this week announced the award of funding of over €1.7 million to support twenty new industry-academia partnerships through the Science Foundation Ireland Industry Fellowship Programme. The programme is funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Science Foundation Ireland.
Three of the twenty supported projects are based at NUI Galway:
- Dr Thérèse Mahony’s work on formulations and delivery systems for prevention and treatment of bovine Johne's Disease, in partnership with Westway Health.
- Professor Manfred Hauswirth’s work with large-scale integration and provisioning of ‘Internet of Things’ and utility streams in real smart city environments, in partnership with Siemens AG Österreich (Austria).
- Dr Daniel O’Toole’s work on the development of a regulatory compliant cell product for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, in partnership with Orbsen Therapeutics.
Announcing the funding, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “A key part of our Action Plan for Jobs is delivering measures to deliver more commercial outcomes and ultimately jobs from the excellent research infrastructure we have built up over recent years. The SFI fellowships are an important measure in delivering this, by providing funding to research projects working directly on solutions to problems that particular companies are facing. In this way, we can support researchers who are working on projects which can ultimately be developed into commercial ideas and employment – turning good ideas into good jobs. I congratulate all involved and wish them every success with their projects.”
The SFI Industry Fellowship Programme provides researchers from academic institutions with the opportunity to gain important first-hand experience in a commercial research environment, while also providing industry with access to highly specialised trained researchers from academic institutions. The aim of the programme is to increase levels of collaboration between industry and academia.
These are the first twenty awards approved for funding under this new programme and involve research in key sectors such as animal health, smart grid, marine, solar energy, transport and mobility studies, and diagnostics in oncology with both multinational companies and SMEs participating.
Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland said: “The Industry Fellowship programme is an important element of SFI’s Agenda 2020 which aims to build strategic partnerships between industry and academic institutions, to encourage cutting-edge research and further grow Ireland’s competitive advantage. The awards will provide academic researchers with practical working knowledge of relevant business drivers as well as legitimate industry experience and important industry contacts. Industry partners participating in the programme will gain from the up-skilling of staff and input into their research and development. The partnerships will in turn provide an important stepping stone for fuelling future collaborations between industry and academia.”