Eight new Science Foundation Ireland - National Natural Science Foundation of China Partnerships announced
June 27th 2018 – Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade with responsibility for Brexit, Simon Coveney, TD and Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen, TD today announced details of eight new research collaborations supported through the partnership between Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). The projects, which will run over the next four years will support over 30 researchers in areas of strategic importance to the People’s Republic of China and Ireland.
The announcement, which was made on the occasion of the Export Trade Council meeting at Iveagh House in Dublin, is a direct result of a joint investment made by the Irish government through Science Foundation Ireland to the value of €8.6 million euro and Ľ31,920,000 (ca. €4,273,000) from the National Natural Science Foundation of China.
Speaking at Iveagh House, Tánaiste, Simon Coveney, said: “Over the last decade Ireland’s engagement with China has grown from strength to strength, with China now ranking as Ireland’s largest trading partner in Asia. Collaboration and partnership in RD&I is vital for expanding this relationship. China’s emphasis on high technology systems, particularly in green-tech is extremely complimentary to Ireland’s research prioritisation and reflected in some of the outstanding projects being launched here today.“
Minister Pat Breen added: “Ireland is second in the World – in global scientific rankings by citation –for Nanotechnology. We also have the best wind and wave resources in Europe for renewable energy research. The projects being launched today play to these strengths and build on Ireland’s strong international reputation as an open and engaging country for research and development. We welcome the ongoing collaboration with the NSFC through the SFI-NSFC Partnership Programme and hope to broaden and strengthen this successful bilateral initiative.”
Madam Hua Yang, Charge d'Affaires, Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China, Ireland, commented: "Today’s award symbolizes a good start of greater Science, Technology and Innovation cooperation between China and Ireland in the years to come. It is our belief and hope that, with concerted efforts from both countries, our cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation will achieve more accomplishment, benefiting the well-being of the people from both countries and around the world."
The eight projects receiving funding today were subject to rigorous review with approximately 250 international expert reviewers assisting in the peer-review process. The chosen projects feature research into the areas of wireless and optical communications, artificial intelligence, micro- and nano-electronics, climate change, green energy, and nano-materials for biomedical applications. Four academic institutions in Ireland will collaborate with six institutions across the People’s Republic of China to carry out this work.
President of the NSFC, President Prof. Li Jinghai, noted that: “The NSFC-SFI Partnership Programme supports excellent collaborative scientific research that has potential economic and societal impact. The programme builds capacity, expertise and mutually beneficial relationships between Ireland-based and China-based researchers, and will contribute to the global science and to the economic development in both countries. This is a wonderful beginning for our partnership, and I look forward to further cooperation between our two foundations.”
Congratulating the awardees, Dr Ciarán Seoighe, Deputy Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, said: “I am delighted to welcome the first eight awards under the new SFI-NSFC Partnership Programme. Science Foundation Ireland has been building research links between Ireland and the People’s Republic of China for the last number of years and the launch of these partnerships is a testament to the strong collaborative relationship between our two nations. Combining the expertise and resources of both research communities has proven very successful in attracting innovative and impactful project submissions, I am excited to see the outcomes from today’s successful applicants.”