Do you have an idea for a solution that could help Ireland become an environmentally sustainable economy?

The Healthy Environment for All Challenge gives academic research teams a unique opportunity to contribute to Ireland’s transition to an environmentally sustainable and climate-neutral economy. Following review of applications, successful teams will receive funding of up to €250,000 and training to accelerate development of their idea. A number of teams will then be selected as finalists and receive up to €500,000 to further develop their idea before an overall winner is selected for the €2 million prize award.

The National Challenge Fund is an agile, fast-paced programme that allows research teams to work with societal stakeholders to deliver tangible impact through their research. In addition to funding, teams are provided with training and mentoring to support acceleration of an idea and to demonstrate how it can solve real-world problems. Participation has the potential to open up significant career development and collaborative opportunities.


Applications are welcome from teams of academic researchers based at eligible Irish research bodies. Teams are strongly encouraged to consider including researchers from different and diverse disciplines, at all career stages. 

Applications should be submitted by two academic researchers who will act as team lead and co-lead. It is strongly recommended that applications also identify a Societal Impact Champion to act in a non-technical leadership role. Where a Societal Impact Champion is not identified at the time of application, teams successful in their applications will be expected to have the Societal Impact Champion in place soon after their award commences.

The Healthy Environment for All Challenge consists of four phases: Concept, Seed, Grow and Prize Award. Participation in the challenge will involve teams progressing through the phases, each supporting further development of the challenge concept and solution, to compete for an overall prize award of €2 million.


No. Teams

Duration (Months)

Funding (€)













Prize Award




Key Dates 
Milestone Date
Call Launch    7th November 2022
Application Deadline 10th February 2023
Award Decision   April 2023
Concept Phase Q2 2023
Seed Phase Q4 2023
Grow Phase Q4 2024
Prize Phase Q4 2025

The Healthy Environment for All Challenge seeks solutions to ensure clean and healthy air, water and soil for humans, animals, and plants. 

Restoring and maintaining a resilient environment is a crucial component of the Green Transition and essential for the creation of a healthy and secure future. Environmental degradation exacerbates the effects of climate change, threatens health, increases the risk of natural disaster, accelerates biodiversity loss and destabilises societies. 

Under this challenge, applications will be considered in areas including but not limited to:

  • Adaptation – solutions to make our environment resilient to current and future impacts of climate change.  
  • Measurement and modelling – solutions to enable improved monitoring of environmental quality parameters for soil, air, water and biodiversity to understand and address the sources of environmental damage. 
  • Pollutant prevention and removal – solutions to remove pollutants at source or those already in the environment.
  • Restoration – solutions to restore and protect our natural environment for future generations.
  • Natural capital – solutions to understand the value and benefits of nature for our society and economy.

Solutions may be proposed in any sector but must demonstrate the potential for transformative impact in achieving Ireland’s transition to a climate-resilient, biodiversity-rich, environmentally sustainable and climate-neutral economy.

This broad thematic call is one of a number of calls that will seek solutions to support Ireland’s Green Transition. Applicants to this call are particularly encouraged to consider novel, forward-looking solutions that could contribute to meeting 2050 objectives.

The National Challenge Fund was established under the Government’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP), funded by the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility. The fund is coordinated and administered by Science Foundation Ireland.

Applications must be submitted through SFI’s Grants Management System SESAME which will open for submissions on November 14th. If accessing SESAME for the first time, researchers should contact their local Research Office to get access to the system.

The deadline for submission of applications to this call will be 10th February 2023.

Applicants should carefully review the call documentation below including eligibility information before preparing an application. Applicants must use the templates provided below and adhere to all guidelines.