Dublin, 25th April 2017- Minister for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD, has today announced an investment of €6.7 million, supporting 14 research awards under a joint funding scheme between Science Foundation Ireland and the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). The awards will support a total of 26 research positions in Irish institutions over a period of 3-4 years.

Researchers from the UK and Ireland will work together on research and technology development addressing key global challenges in biosciences for health, agriculture, food security, industrial biotechnology and bioenergy. Research areas being funded through the partnership include rapid bone graft synthesis; gut bacterial influences on the nutrition of Atlantic salmon; modelling the spread of tuberculosis in cattle in the UK and Ireland; a study of the genetic diversity of oats across the UK and Ireland and the influence of climate change on their ability to fight fungal infection.

Announcing the awards, Minister Halligan said: “I am very pleased to announce this significant investment in research and development by the BBSRC and Science Foundation Ireland, which will strengthen research links between Ireland and the UK. Connecting our scientific communities will enhance scientific and technological collaborations in both countries, maximising infrastructure and talent. These joint ventures can produce important scientific discoveries and innovations, while improving the overall scientific competitiveness of both countries internationally.”

Discussing the partnership, Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland said: 

“The international collaboration between the BBSRC and Science Foundation Ireland, along with the very high calibre of projects receiving funding, demonstrates our commitment to supporting excellent and impactful research.“

“Through the BBSRC-SFI partnership, we are promoting the crucial sharing of resources, knowledge and expertise among the international research community. This will empower researchers both here in Ireland and in the UK, and further builds on Ireland’s global reputation for research excellence.”

Full details of the awards are available here.