Limerick 6 April 2020: Lero, the SFI Research Centre for Software, has appointed an International Funding Manager. The strategic appointment is key to achieving the centre’s goals of securing international investment in its leading-edge research.

Hosted by the University of Limerick (UL) Lero brings together expert software teams from universities and institutes of technology across Ireland in a co-ordinated centre of research excellence with a strong industry focus. Lero’s research spans a wide range of application domains from driverless cars to artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, esports, fintech, govtech, smart communities, agtech and healthtech.

International Funding Manager, Dr Martina Prendergast, comes to Lero from her role in UL’s Research Office where she worked predominantly covering the environment, marine and energy remit, while also providing training on grant proposal writing to researchers.

The NUI Galway graduate’s primary role will be to target funding from international sources, including the EU to bolster exchequer funding channelled through SFI and from industry partners.

“I am thrilled to join the team and look forward to working with Lero members around Ireland in securing international funding to support their work. I have come to know Lero research and many of its researchers well over recent years. Lero has a defined vision for research excellence and impact, as well as a strong record of academic research performance. It also has a strong tradition of engagement with industry,” said the Renmore, Galway City woman.

Lero General Manager Joe Gibbs believes Dr Prendergast will be a significant asset as the centre seeks to increase its levels of international funding. “Martina brings extensive funding experience to the centre, having worked in strategic funding and research support roles in NUI Galway and UL. In her new role, she will support Lero’s researchers in the pursuit of funding applications for Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe, ESA and other non-Irish exchequer opportunities as well as helping to identify potential future philanthropic sources of funding for the centre,” he said.