SFI’s internationally-focused programmes and initiatives help to develop links with top international research institutions and enterprise markets, in addition to reinforcing Ireland’s standing as a top-class research-performing nation. 

The agency’s international policy seeks to support Agenda 2020, SFI’s strategy for 2013–2020, which sets out a vision of a “preferred future” in which Ireland in 2020 is the best country in the world for scientific research excellence and impact. Agenda 2020 is underpinned by the desire to strengthen and improve Ireland’s international reputation and collaboration, through the continuing support of excellence in research.

SFI’s international strategy is based around seven inter-related areas of activity, all underpinned by international collaboration:

  • Develop industrial and academic linkages in IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland’s key target markets
  • Strengthen links with relevant international IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland offices
  • Recruit high-calibre researchers to Ireland
  • Facilitate collaborations with world-class centres of research excellence
  • Raise international awareness and recognition of Irish science and high-quality research
  • Leverage SFI funding to secure funding from international sources, with a particular emphasis on supporting researchers to access EU funding and networks
  • Learn from other countries that have focused on R&D and innovation as key national policies

SFI works closely with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI), the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Enterprise Ireland (EI) and IDA Ireland in implementing this strategy.