Monaghan, Ireland - 14th September 2018 – Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD today called on companies across Ireland to engage in collaborative research projects by participating in the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Industry Fellowship Programme. The programme supports the temporary placement of academic researcher in industry, and of industry researchers in academia.

Speaking in Monaghan at the launch of the 2018 programme, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said: “The SFI Industry Fellowship Programme has been very successful in providing Industry partners with access to excellent researchers and cutting-edge technology within Irish academic institutions, with over 140 industry partnerships to-date. Ireland’s highly skilled workforce drives our knowledge economy and programmes such as this provide a platform for the flow of talent and expertise between our academic institutions and the corporate world. I would strongly encourage businesses to take up this fantastic opportunity to link in with the latest research taking place in universities, which can help them to cultivate new ideas and perspectives in-house.”

The Industry Fellowship Programme is funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, through Science Foundation Ireland.

Mutual benefits for enterprise and research

The SFI Industry Fellowship Programme offers researchers from academia the opportunity to gain valuable insight into the commercial working environment; the cultural differences, and industrial approach to project management. For industry researchers entering academic institutions, they can benefit from access to highly specialised equipment and the deep repository of knowledge and insight within the academic community.

Speaking about the 2018 programme, Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland said: “Irish higher education institutions are an excellent source of highly skilled individuals, with nearly a third of PhD students and Postdocs departing to industry as a first destination. The Industry Fellowship Programme is an ideal conduit for industry partners to grow their talent base and stimulate excellence through knowledge exchange and training. Science Foundation Ireland is delighted to support this ongoing collaborative framework.”

36 projects have been approved this year, across a range of topics such as renewable energy, cancer research, medical devices, environmental sensors and materials science. These projects are supported by 31 industry partners ranging from Irish start-ups and small to medium-sized enterprises, to large multinational companies.

The deadline for 2018 applications is 13:00, 23rd November, via the Science Foundation Ireland website and a networking event to help match researchers with organisations will take place in the Aviva Stadium from 10am to 2pm on Thursday 4 October. Tickets can be booked via Eventbrite.

The SFI researcher database and the Knowledge Transfer Ireland Expert database list potential academic research partners. While postdoctoral researchers do not appear in these databases, companies can identify the appropriate team leader from the database and contact them to discuss whether there are eligible researchers in their group (faculty and/or postdoctoral researchers). The Research Offices of the Irish academic and research institutions may also assist companies in identifying prospective academic partners.