Science Foundation Ireland and the Department of Defence are supporting academic research teams to work with the Irish Defence Forces to develop innovative solutions to a number of challenges that will have beneficial application and strong positive impact potential for Irish society.

Seed Phase Teams


Challenge Enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the fire extinguishing capability of rotary-wing aircraft.

Solution Using Earth Observation and Artificial Intelligence technologies, a new system capable of providing real-time information to responders in the air and on the ground will be developed.

Team Prof Tim McCarthy (Maynooth University), Prof John MacDonald (Maynooth University), DefOrg Liaison Comdt Jay O'Reilly (Irish Air Corps)




Challenge Disruptive Ideas

Solution MISTRAL will develop a network of flying, automated drones to provide reliable communications for humanitarian and peacekeeping missions.

Team Prof Holger Claussen (Tyndall National Institute), Dr Boris Galkin (Trinity College Dublin), DefOrg Liaison Capt Ken Lyons (CIS Corps)


Challenge Disruptive Ideas

Solution A novel, rapid, inexpensive and portable device will be developed that allows for the detection and discrimination of multiple biological agents relevant to security and public health.

Team Prof Lokesh Joshi (National University of Ireland), Dr Stephen Cunningham (National University of Ireland)


Challenge Disruptive Ideas

Solution Food poisoning and gastro-intestinal viruses are health risks that can significantly affect the operational capabilities of organisations like the Defence Forces. ECHEM SENSE will develop a new type of reusable biosensor, capable of detecting multiple food pathogens, in low resource environments.

Team Dr Robert Johnson (University College Dublin), Prof Seamus Fanning (University College Dublin), DefOrg Liaison Lt Col Anthony Corcoran (Medical Corps)

Smart Hangar

Challenge Cyber-physical system to assist in, or potentially automate, manoeuvring of aircraft between a hangar and apron.

Solution Smart Hangar will develop a co-operative system that will allow a human controller and robot to work together to manoeuvre aircraft.

Team Prof Gerry Lacey (Maynooth University), Dr Marco Cognetti (Maynooth University), DefOrg Liaison Capt Tom Mullarkey (Irish Air Corps)


Concept Phase Teams