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€245 Million To Be Invested In Five New World-Class SFI Research Centres In Ireland - Minister Bruton, Minister English

  • €155m in funding from the Department of Jobs through SFI will be provided for five World-Class SFI Research Centres
  • €90m co-investment by industry partners, bringing the total investment to €245m
  • Directly supporting 700 researcher positions
  • Addresses research in critical and emerging areas of the economy including applied geosciences, software and medical devices
  • Potential to receive further competitive research funding from industry and EU Horizon 2020

20th October 2014, Dublin: Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, and Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English TD today announced Government and industry funding of €245 million for the establishment of five new world-class SFI Research Centres in Ireland.

The funding of €155 million from the Department of Jobs will be delivered through Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Research Centres Programme, coupled with €90 million in cash and in-kind contributions from industry partners. The funding will support cutting-edge research in critical and emerging sectors of the economy which are key for job creation in Ireland. The funding will be provided over the next six years, 2014-2020.

Speaking at the announcement, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, said: “A key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is to build on the major achievements in scientific research we have built up over the past decade and turn more good ideas into good jobs. Today’s announcement will lead to the establishment in Ireland of world-class centres of research excellence and scale which will be game-changers for Irish scientific research.”

“The €245 million investment announced today, and the five new, large-scale, world-class research centres it will support, are aimed at achieving a step-change in the reputation and performance of Ireland’s research system. This builds on the announcement of seven similar centres last year. With twelve world-class SFI Research Centres, Ireland is now well placed to take the lead developing cutting-edge research and new technologies, ultimately delivering more commercial ideas and jobs.”

Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, added, “This investment delivers another milestone for this Government’s Research Prioritisation objectives. These SFI Research Centres are ideally positioned to nurture real collaboration across industry and academia in Ireland which supports increased commercialisation of research and will ultimately grow jobs in the STEM sector. Importantly, these centres will also strongly position Irish based scientists to win funding through the EU Horizon 2020 funding programme, and will enable us to attract further investment from international companies in the future.“

The five SFI Research Centres will be involved in over 165 industry collaborations with partners ranging from multinationals to SMEs and including Intel, Google, Microsoft, Medtronic Vascular Galway Ltd, Xilinx, Huawei and many more.

The new funding has been competitively awarded in areas of national importance closely aligned to industry and enterprise needs, job opportunities and societal goals.  The five new SFI Research Centres are as follows:

ADAPT - Global digital connectivity enables enterprises, communities and individuals to share information and communicate globally at incredible speed, in enormous volumes, across the world’s languages and over an ever-increasing number of devices. Adapt’s research will fundamentally change the way in which enterprises, communities and individuals can engage globally in real time. Adapt will enhance efficiencies and global reach for industry partners in key priority sectors for Ireland, including ICT, localisation, financial services, eCommerce, media, entertainment and games, life sciences, eLearning,  digital culture and humanities.

CONNECT Centre for Future Networks & Communications - The key challenges that face society all drive the need for new and varied forms of networked services. These include mobile Internet, connected health, smart agriculture, smart grids and metering, and environmental monitoring services. The CONNECT Centre focuses on future broadband, cellular and Internet-of-Things networks on which all of these services will be enabled; thereby growing the economy and supporting society at large.

CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices - As the global population ages, one in three people are expected to be over 65 by 2050, with the potential financial burden for healthcare expected to rise. CÚRAM is engaged in research to radically improve health outcomes for patients by developing innovative implantable ‘smart’ medical devices to treat major unmet medical needs. This research will position Ireland as the leader in developing medical device technologies which will provide affordable transformative solutions for chronic diseases.

- iCRAG Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences - Geoscience underpins the discovery of raw materials, water and energy resources that are critical to the world’s economy. With increasing demand and diminishing supply, focused innovations in geoscience are of paramount importance globally. Ireland is home to Europe’s largest zinc mine, untapped hydrocarbon resources in challenging North East Atlantic deep water environments, and a diverse geological framework with important untapped seabed and groundwater resources. The iCRAG centre will carry out research to find and harness these resources whilst protecting the environment.

LERO The Irish Software Research Centre - Software is everywhere and key Irish industry sectors such as manufacturing, medical devices, financial services, cloud computing, analytics, and smart cities depend on it. LERO’s research mission is to replicate the success of traditional software engineering in the context of large-scale, pervasive, physically-integrated, highly interconnected, evolving, and continuously-available systems, in which the boundary between design-time and runtime is disappearing.

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said, “These five new SFI Research Centres were selected following a highly competitive and rigorous international peer review process which screened for scientific excellence and assessed potential economic and societal impact. These five SFI Research Centres complement the seven we announced last year – which are already having a major positive impact: making important scientific advances, initiating and enhancing enterprise, training people with appropriate skills, winning EU projects and enhancing Ireland’s international reputation. These SFI Research Centres combine scientific research with deep and significant enterprise engagement, excellence and impact. We are confident that they will make a significant contribution to Ireland’s economy, employment and reputation.”

The five centres involve a collaborative partnership across Higher Education Institutions in Ireland with participation from Cork Institute of Technology; Dublin City University; Dublin Institute of Technology; Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies; Dundalk IT; NUI Galway; Maynooth University; Royal College of Surgeons Ireland; Trinity College Dublin; Tyndall National Institute; University College Cork; University College Dublin; University of Limerick and Waterford Institute of Technology.

As a result of today’s announcement there will be a total of twelve SFI Research Centres in Ireland.  Today’s investment marks the second tranche of funding under the SFI Research Centres Programme; last year €300 million (€200 from SFI and €100 from industry) in funding was announced for seven research centres, the largest ever combined Government and Industry co-funding collaboration of its kind in the research field in Ireland. 

Notes to editor:

Companies involved in collaborating with the five SFI Research Centres include:

Aerogen Ltd, Almir Business,  Apica Cardiovascular Ltd,  David Ball & Associates,  Digicel, EMC,  ESB,  FTL Group,  Histogen Inc, HomeBond,  Intel,  International Lithium Corp,  JCI, Lundin Mining Corporation,  Microsoft, Taoglas,  Teck Ireland,  Tullow Oil,  United Technologies Research Centre,  PIP (Atlantic Petroleum, Cairn Energy, Chevron, ENI, Europa Oil, ExxonMobil, Husky Energy, Kosmos Energy, Maersk Oil, Providence Resources, Repsol, San Leon Energy, Serica Energy, Shell, Sosina, Woodside Energy), Analog Devices Arris,  Google,  InnaLabs, ACI Worldwide, Acrolinx, Agilent Technologies Ireland Ltd, Alcatel Lucent, Allstate Insurance (NI), AOL, Arch Therapeutics Inc, Athersys Inc, Benetel,  Bluebridge Technologies, Boliden Tara Mines, BSkyB, CISCO, Commetric, dabl, Data Direct Networks, Decawave, Dell,  DMF Systems,  Drop Technology, eBay, Ericsson, Eurostone, FBD, Fijowave, Geoscience Ireland, Hewlett Packard, Huawei, IBM, iFlyTek, Information Mosaic,  KoralSea, MA-COM, Medical Energetic, Medtronic Vascular Galway Ltd, Microsoft, Moravia, Movidius, Natcom, National Roads Authority, NDRC, Neosurgical Ltd,  Nonlinear Systems, Novartis, Novo Nordisk Ltd, NXP, Ocean Harvest Technology, Ocuco, ON, Orbsen Therapeutics, PayPal, Pilot Photonics, Portable Medical Technology, Profector Life Sciences Qualcom, Rambus, RCNx Real Wireless, Rohde & Schwartz, S3 Group, Sajan, Scorpion Networks, Seahorse Rising Ltd, Semiconductor, Skyware, Socowave, SQS, SRK Consulting, Symantec, Synopsys, Tobin Consulting Engineers, Trevali, UTRC, Veryan Medical Ltd, Viscus Biologics Ltd, VistaTEC, Welocalize, Xanadu, Xcelerator, Xilinx.

Under the SFI Research Centres Programme, the five research centres outlined below are being funded (alphabetical order):

Adapt

Lead Institution: Trinity College Dublin

Lead Principal Investigator: Prof Vincent Wade, Trinity College Dublin

Co-Pls:

-          Prof Andy Way, Dublin City University

-          Prof Nick Campbell, Trinity College Dublin

-          Prof Qun Liu, Dublin City University

-          Dr Gareth Jones, Dublin City University,

-          Prof Owen Conlan, Trinity College Dublin

-          Prof Declan O’Sullivan, Trinity College Dublin

-          Prof David Lewis, Trinity College Dublin

Research Summary:

We live in a world of global digital connectivity where enterprises, communities and individuals are sharing information and content and communicating globally at incredible speed, in enormous volumes, across the world’s languages and over an ever-increasing number of devices. The Adapt Centre will empower people, companies and communities to achieve unprecedented engagement across digital content and multimodal interaction.

Adapt will empower people and communities by enabling: deeper understanding of multilingual content by significant advances in multilingual language processing; dynamic transformation of content to break down language and cultural barriers; personalisation of the user experience to ensure rapid assimilation and reuse of content; and multimodal/multimedia interaction with global content for contextualised discovery, communication and interaction. Adapt research will fundamentally change the way in which enterprises, communities and individuals can engage globally in real time.

Adapt will enhance efficiencies and global reach for industry partners in key priority sectors for Ireland, including ICT, localisation, financial services, eCommerce, media, entertainment and games, life sciences, digital culture and humanities, and eLearning.

Other Partner Institutions: Dublin City University, University College Dublin, Dublin Institute of Technology

Number of Industry Partners: 20

CONNECT

Lead Institution: Trinity College Dublin

Lead Principal Investigator: Prof Linda Doyle, Trinity College Dublin

Co-Pls:

-          Prof Luiz Da Silva, Trinity College Dublin

-          Prof Michael Peter Kennedy, University College Cork

-          Prof Thomas Brazil University College Dublin

-          Prof David Payne Trinity College Dublin

-          Prof Doug Leith, Maynooth University

-          Dr William Donnelly, Waterford Institute of Technology

-          Prof Max Ammann, Dublin Institute of Technology

-          Prof Cian O’Mathuna, Tyndall National Institute

-          Prof Cormac Sreenan, University College Cork

Research Summary:

The CONNECT Centre for Future Networks & Communications will design networks to grow the economy, to support society at large, and to power Ireland’s future development. If we look at the key challenges that face our society, whether they are health related, connected to food security, about clean and efficient energy, smart and green transport, climate change, ageing, or other issues, they all drive the need for new and varied forms of networked services. These include mobile Internet, connected health, smart agriculture, smart grids and metering, and environmental monitoring services, to list but a few.

The Centre focuses on future broadband, cellular and Internet-of-Things networks on which all of these services will be enabled. CONNECT is a consortium of 10 academic institutions and 37 companies and is the most inclusive and comprehensive research centre of its kind. The academics are leaders in their fields and the industry partners come from a range of key companies from across the value-chain in the all-important ICT sector in Ireland.

Other Partner Institutions: Cork Institute of Technology, Dublin City University, Dublin Institute of Technology, NUI Maynooth, University College Cork,  University College Dublin,  University of Limerick, Tyndall National Institute, Waterford Institute of Technology

Number of Industry Partners: 37

CÚRAM

Lead Institution: NUI Galway (NUIG)

Lead Principal Investigator: Prof Abhay Pandit, NUI Galway

Co-Pls:

-          Prof Tim O’Brien, NUI Galway

-          Prof David Brayden, University College Dublin

-          Prof Lokesh Joshi, NUI Galway

Research Summary:

The prime objective for CÚRAM, the Centre for Research in Medical Devices, is to radically improve health outcomes for patients by developing innovative implantable medical devices to treat major unmet medical needs.

CÚRAM will design and create implantable ‘smart’ medical devices. Implants will be designed and manufactured to respond to the body’s environment and to deliver therapeutic agents, such as drugs, exactly where needed. Cutting-edge science will inform device development, bringing the very latest research from biomaterials science, stem cell science and drug delivery to bear. Devices will be developed with strong clinical collaborations and with industry partners and hospital groups to enable rapid translation to the clinic.

CÚRAM’s outputs will benefit in particular patients with chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and musculoskeletal diseases. As the global population ages, with one in three people expected to be over 65 by 2050, the financial burden for healthcare is expected to rocket. CÚRAM will position Ireland as the driver in developing medical device technologies which will provide affordable transformative solutions for chronic diseases to meet this challenge.

Crucially, CÚRAM will also sustain and permanently strengthen Ireland’s standing as a major global hub for medical device sector research and development. CÚRAM will include almost 40 industry partners, including indigenous Irish companies and multi-nationals, and support product development and the creation of new spin-out companies.                        

Other Partner Institutions: University College Dublin, University of Limerick, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, Dublin City University

Number of Industry Partners: 39

iCRAG

Lead Institution: University College Dublin

Lead Principal Investigator: Prof John Walsh, University College Dublin

Co-Pls:

-          Prof Balz Kamber, Trinity College Dublin (Deputy Director)

-          Prof Chris Bean, University College Dublin

-          Prof Peter Croot, NUI Galway

-          Prof Laurence Gill, Trinity College Dublin

-          Prof Peter Haughton, University College Dublin

-          Prof Frank McDermott, University College Dublin

-          Prof Patrick Shannon, University College Dublin

-          Prof Andy Wheeler, University College Cork

Research Summary:

Geoscience underpins the discovery of raw materials, water and energy resources that are critical to the world’s economy. With increasing demand and diminishing supply, focused innovations in geoscience are of paramount importance globally. Ireland is home to Europe’s largest zinc mine, untapped hydrocarbon resources in challenging NE Atlantic deep water environments, and a diverse geological framework with important untapped seabed and groundwater resources.

Forming an integrated cluster of researchers with very strong engagement across a range of Geoscience industries, the iCRAG centre will carry out research to find and harness these resources whilst protecting the environment.

Other Partner Institutions: NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork, DIAS and Maynooth University

Number of Industry Partners: 49

Lero – the Irish Software Research Centre

Lead Institution: University of Limerick

Lead Principal Investigator: Prof Mike Hinchey, University of Limerick

Co-Pls:

-          Prof  Brian Fitzgerald, University of Limerick

-          Prof  Liam Bannon, University of Limerick

-          Prof  Mathew Hennessy, Trinity College Dublin

-          Prof  Tiziana Margaria, University of Limerick

-          Prof  Joao Marques-Silva, University College Dublin

-          Prof  John Murphy, University College Dublin

-          Prof  Bashar Nuseibeh, University of Limerick

-          Prof  Gregory Provan, University College Cork

Research Summary:

Lero’s research programme is informed by three long-term trends: software is everywhere and our quality of life and economic well-being depend on it; the digital and physical worlds are increasingly integrated; and software-intensive systems must be always-on, yet continuously changing. These trends are significantly impacting key Irish industry sectors, such as manufacturing, medical devices, financial services, cloud computing, analytics, and smart cities.

Lero’s research mission is to replicate the success of traditional software engineering in the context of large-scale, pervasive, physically-integrated, highly interconnected, evolving, and continuously-available systems, in which the boundary between design-time and runtime is disappearing. Lero’s research focuses on the tools, methods and best practices required to maintain software development leadership in this climate of accelerating change.

Other Partner Institutions: University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, University College Cork, NUI Galway, Maynooth University, Dundalk Institute of Technology

Number of Industry Partners: 29