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image of crystals of Griseofulvin that look like flowers or snowflakes

SFI Research Image of the Year Winner 2022: Mariana Oliveira Diniz, SSPC SFI Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals

Image title: A spring garden of griseoflowers. Griseofulvin is a drug used as an antifungal antibiotic to treat skin infections. It was first isolated from Penicillium griseofulvum in 1939 and became the first clinical oral antifungal approved to be used in 1950. Griseofulvin is included on the World Health Organization (WHO) List of Essential Medicines. This PhD research investigates the nucleation kinetics of griseofulvin in different solvents and different scales. These crystals were formed when a solution of griseofulvin in acetonitrile was left to evaporate at room temperature on a fume hood for three days. This image was captured on a mobile phone without any further treatment.

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Key Statistics 2022

  • 5,986

    people working on SFI-supported projects
  • 5,248

    publications reported
  • 5,815

    international academic collaborations in 87 countries
  • €85 million

    competitively won from EU

Annual Report 2022 Highlights

Click on each icon below to learn more about the Annual Report 2022 highlights

Fostering Talent and Excellence

SFI’s collaboration with the Irish Research Council (IRC) saw €7.5 million invested through the SFI IRC Pathway Programme to support early career researchers in becoming independent research leaders.

All-island Collaboration

An historic opportunity for researchers to build strategic collaborative partnerships across Ireland, Great Britain and Northern Ireland was launched through the new Co-Centre Programme which will focus on high-quality research and innovation within the areas of climate, and sustainable and resilient food systems.

Challenge-based Funding

The SFI Future Innovator Prize progressed with prize winners developing innovative solutions to reducing plastic usage in Irish research laboratories, and addressing food waste. A new partnership with the Defence Organisation was launched, while our partnership with Irish Aid continued. The €65 million National Challenge Fund was launched, supported with funding under the EU’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan. It will support 90 teams through eight new challenges, to generate solutions-based research in the areas of the green transition and digital transformation.

Excellent Research

SFI supported 79 independent investigators to conduct highly innovative research with an investment of over €61 million, via the SFI Frontiers for the Future Programme. Regional research capacity in the Technology Universities and Institutes of Technology was also boosted with €16.2 million through the SFI Frontiers for Partnerships Programme.

Driving Regional Development

In 2022, funding was secured from the European Regional Development Fund to establish a new programme, ARC: Accelerating Research to Commercialisation. With a focus on strategic growth areas and smart specialisation, it will drive regional development through a network of three hubs.

Enhancing Partnerships

SFI continued building strategic partnerships with industry to perform cutting-edge, industry-informed research and innovation, through its Strategic Partnership Programme, with an investment of €2 million to support immersive low-code/no-code software engineering in the University of Limerick’s R@ISE Project. SFI also launched its Industry RD&I Fellowship to support the temporary placement of six academic researchers in industry.

Headshot image of Professor Philip Nolan

Director General’s Statement

Professor Philip Nolan

Reflecting on my first year as Director General of SFI, I am struck by the significant opportunity that the knowledge and research in our higher education sector can provide for our society. Throughout 2022 I engaged with colleagues across the higher education institutions and research community, as well as with key partners in government departments and agencies, with the Minister and our own Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and other Government Ministers. I thank them for generously sharing their insights, which will help us shape the future of research and innovation funding in Ireland and best meet the needs of the full diversity of our collective community.

To read the statement in full, download the report.

Year In Review

2022 was a busy year across SFI. Every month we marked new achievements and celebrations. For the full Year in Review download the report.

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    Prof Subrata Ghosh joined the APC Microbiome Ireland SFI Research Centre at UCC with a prestigious SFI Research Professorship award.


    An investment of €2.4 million was made to develop disruptive solutions to challenges facing the Irish Defence Forces.


    A €9 million joint investment was made via the US-Ireland tripartite R&D programme to support seven awards across 16 research institutions.


    €2.47 million in funding was announced for seven research teams competing in the SFI Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Challenge.

  • MAY

    Minister Simon Harris TD published the Government’s new National Research and Innovation Strategy, Impact 2030.

  • JUNE

    Ministers Simon Harris TD and Norma Foley TD announced an investment in 47 projects to support public engagement with STEM.

  • JULY

    An analysis of the 18,000 ideas submitted by the public to the Creating Our Future national brainstorm was published.


    A €65 million fund was launched to drive solutions to support the green transition and digital transformation through the National Challenge Fund.


    TU Dublin’s Leaf No Waste team won the €2 million Food Challenge in the SFI Future Innovator Prize programme.


    The Space Week festival, funded by the SFI Discover Programme, celebrated the wonders of space and science.


    Science Week 2022 called on the public to explore the infinite possibilities of science with hundreds of events taking place nationwide.


    SFI announced a major investment to support research infrastructure projects to advance high-impact research activities.

Explore the Annual Report 2022 Chapters

Excellent Research

SFI supports and drives Ireland’s contribution to the latest scientific breakthroughs which lead to innovation for academia, enterprise, the public sector, government, society and beyond

Find out more about Excellent Research

Talent and Skills

From training highly sought-after PhD students, to supporting early career frontiers researchers and senior research leaders, SFI is working to attract and retain the best talent.

Find out more about Talent and Skills

Global Footprint

Throughout 2022, SFI deepened our reach through our international collaborative research partnerships across the globe.

Find out more about Global Footprint

Empowering Societal and Economic Benefits

Find out more about Empowering Societal and Economic Benefits

Download the full Report

Get the full SFI 2022 Annual Report

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