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Key Statistics

  • 6

    Universities in the world's top 500
  • 40,000

    STEM graduates in 2021/22
  • €4.6 Billion

    Investment in research and innovation 
  • 200,000

    People employed by MedTech, ICT, and Biopharma companies 

What is industry collaboration?

At Science Foundation Ireland, we know bringing innovative ideas to life is crucial to economic success. 

By connecting academic research and industry to form partnerships in order to tackle business challenges, we can unlock the power of science, research and innovation to future-proof industry competitiveness, realise goals and inform future strategy.  

We play a complementary role to our sister agencies, IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, in assisting both indigenous and foreign industries by: 

  • Providing funding to researchers in Ireland’s higher education institutions. 
  • Acting as a link between researchers and companies that are working on relevant projects 
  • Offering a supportive environment that is so essential for collaborative work. 

Text based image with five stats:  €1.2 billion      EU funding during Horizon 2020   14      Universities, Technological Universities, and Institutes of Technology across Ireland   34.1 %       Departures to industry from SFI Research Centres   227      New patents filed in 2021 alone   2100      Irish organisations participating in EU projects

Ireland has one of the youngest demographics in Europe with a highly-skilled, English-speaking, multicultural and educated workforce. Research, Development, & Innovation (RD&I) in Ireland is an excellent example of a cohesive ecosystem across government, academia, businesses, charities, national and international funders, and investors.  

Ireland attracts some of the leading companies in Biopharma, medical technologies, semiconductors, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Ireland is also a global leader in developing next-generation wireless communications networks with on-going advanced experimentation and testing of communication networks. 

SFI supports industry collaborations, both domestic and international, by providing researchers with funding, linking researchers and companies working on relevant projects and providing the supportive environment that’s so essential for collaborative work.  

With over 1700 collaborations between academia and industry, involving over 1000 multinational companies and over 700 small to medium enterprises, SFI is sowing the seeds for a better tomorrow and, in the process, making Ireland a global powerhouse in research and innovation. 

Harnessing the power of collaboration between academia and industry accelerates progress towards a better future. At SFI, we can help industry partners connect with Ireland’s top researchers working on diverse themes that have the potential to drive businesses forward.  

The Enterprise Partnerships team at SFI is here to help you find the perfect academic partner to meet your needs and achieve your goals.  

Please get in touch with Aisling McEvoy ( to connect with a suitable researcher for your business. 

Science Foundation Ireland has a range of funding opportunities specifically tailored for industry-focused research. This ranges from seeding an initial engagement with an academic group to large-scale collaborative research endeavours.  

  • SFI Strategic Partnerships Programme - funds strategic opportunities within all areas covered by SFI’s legal remit where significant co-funding from a company, collection of companies, funding agency, charity, philanthropic organisation or Higher Education Institute is available.
  • SFI Industry RD&I Fellowship Programme - supports academia-industry interactions to address industry-informed challenges by placing academic researchers (at faculty and postdoctoral level) in industry worldwide. 
  • SFI Research Centres - SFI Research Centres link scientists and engineers in partnerships across academia and industry to address crucial research questions
  • SFI Spokes - enables the addition of new industrial and academic partners and projects to existing SFI Research Centres aimed to deliver significant economic and societal impact for Ireland. 
  • SFI Centres for Research Training - aims to build on research excellence and to provide academically outstanding future leaders with the skills required to address the challenges of an ever-changing work environment.
  • Co-Centres Programme - is aimed at building strategic partnerships across Ireland, Great Britain and Northern Ireland by linking researchers across academia and industry with a focus on areas of mutual economic, societal, health and environmental importance.
  • National Challenge Fund - provides ambitious researchers the chance to make a difference by developing solutions to key challenges in the areas of Green Transition and Digital Transformation

FINTECHNEXT: Next-generation financial-services technology

Fintech, or financial technology, is the application of emerging technologies, such as AI (artificial intelligence), blockchain, data science and the Cloud, to the creation of new products, services and business models within financial services. These technologies also drive cost reduction through automation by enabling operational excellence and improved customer experience.

brings together expertise from academia and industry in information systems, finance and computer science to innovate financial services. The FINTECHNEXT team is researching next-generation products and services intending to deliver a financial technology toolset that informs excellence in science and creates new intellectual property (IP) for potential commercialisation. By doing so, they are dedicated to disrupting three principal domains of the fintech industry: (1) digital transactions, (2) treasury and foreign exchange and (3) corporate asset administration. The FINTECHNEXT consortium is part-funded by Science Foundation Ireland under their Strategic Partnership Programme and is coordinated by University College Cork (UCC).

Read more here.


iPATH: Irish Personalised Approach to the Treatment of Haemophilia

This programme brings together academic and industry researchers and patient partners to explore the biology of haemophilia and how it affects individuals' lives. The findings will help to fine-tune treatments and management plans for people living with severe haemophilia and improve their quality of life.

The Consortium is part-funded by SFI under the SFI Strategic Partnership Programme and is co-ordinated by the National Coagulation Centre at St James’s Hospital, Dublin.

The iPATH consortium also includes Children’s Health Ireland Crumlin, Takeda, The Irish Haemophilia Society, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Trinity College Dublin. The combined funding commitment from industry, charity and SFI is €4 million over the four years of the programme, which launched in 2017. 

Read more here.


Precision Oncology Ireland

This brings together expertise from academia, industry and patient charities to discover and bring more precise diagnoses and treatments to patients.

The Consortium is part-funded by SFI under the SFI Strategic Partnership Programme, and is co-ordinated by Systems Biology Ireland.

Precision Oncology Ireland brings together universities (University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, University College Cork and NUI Galway), industry (AstraZeneca, Celgene Institute for Translational Research Europe, Cell Stress Discoveries, Genuity Science, Helsinn Group, pHion Therapeutics and OncoMark) and charities (Breast Cancer Ireland, Breakthrough Cancer Research, Irish Cancer Society, National Breast Cancer Institute, National Children’s Research Centre and The Oesophageal Cancer Research Fund).

The combined funding commitment from industry, charity and SFI is €11.9 million over the five years of the programme, which launched in 2019.

Read more here.

KTI’s mission is to support business and the research base to maximise innovation from State funded research by getting technology, ideas and expertise into the hands of business, swiftly and easily for the benefit of the public and the economy.  

Useful KTI Resources include:

The main objective of the Industrial Development Agency is to encourage investment into Ireland by foreign-owned companies.  

Enterprise Ireland’s mission is to accelerate the development of world-class Irish companies to achieve strong positions in global markets resulting in increased national and regional prosperity.