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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

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.