Dublin, Ireland, 17th March 2023: A joint investment of approx. €21 million was today announced through a tripartite research and development (R&D) partnership between the United States of America (USA), Republic of Ireland (RoI) and Northern Ireland (NI), marking the highest number of annual awards ever made through the programme, which came about as a result of the Good Friday Agreement.

Under the Programme, which celebrates its 17th year in operation, 12 awards have been announced spanning 27 research institutions and supporting more than 35 research positions in the Republic of Ireland, and over 25 research positions in Northern Ireland, for three to five years. The funded projects include research in the areas of energy storage and conversion, wearable health diagnostics, 5G/6G communications and quantum networks.

The Programme is supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Health Research Board (HRB) in the Republic of Ireland; the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA; and the Department for the Economy (DfE) and the Health & Social Care R&D Division in Northern Ireland.

Prof Philip Nolan, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland welcomed the announcement, saying: “The growth of the US-Ireland R&D Partnership Programme since its inception, highlights the significant value of our international collaborations. I am particularly pleased to see the evolution of a number of the groups that have now won multiple US-Ireland awards. I am delighted to congratulate the award recipients and their collaborators on their work which spans both fundamental and applied research and has the potential to greatly benefit our collective societies and economies.”

"The U.S.-Ireland R&D Partnership program plays an important role in pushing the boundaries of frontier research beyond any borders. This unique research partnership model aims to generate, at speed and scale, valuable discoveries and innovations which are transferable to the marketplace or will lead to enhancements in health, climate resilience and telecommunications to improve our world. I congratulate the awardees and look forward to seeing how their outcomes contribute to successfully addressing global challenges," said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan.

Mark Lee, Interim Director of Higher Education at Northern Ireland’s Department for the Economy, said: “International research partnerships have a key role to play in driving forward Northern Ireland’s vision for a ‘10x Economy’ to deliver economic prosperity and a better quality of life for all our people. The US-Ireland R&D Partnership, as a flagship trans-Atlantic initiative, is playing a crucial role in the delivery of this vision, supporting Northern Ireland-based researchers to make a global impact through the development of new and ground-breaking technologies that can benefit all right across society.”

For the University College Dublin (UCD) research group led by principal Investigator Prof Catherine Godson, this is their third US-Ireland award. The group, whose work aims to develop improved treatments for kidney disease, have been collaborating with Prof Peter Maxwell’s group in Queen’s University Belfast, and were the recipients of the first US-Ireland award ever made in 2008. This work is co-funded by the Health Research Board (HRB) and Health and Social Care (HSC) Research and Development, Northern Ireland.

HRB Chief Executive, Dr Mairéad O'Driscoll said: “We are delighted to support Professor Godson’s work in kidney disease which represents a major public health problem worldwide. The HRB is committed to supporting highly innovative international collaboration through the US-Ireland R&D Programme to generate health benefits in Ireland and internationally.”

Also welcoming the announcement, Dr Janice Bailie, Assistant Director,  Health and Social Care (HSC) Research and Development, Northern Ireland, said: “US-Ireland research collaboration continues to demonstrate its immense value. We look forward to seeing the results of Prof Godson’s and Prof Maxwell’s work, which has potential to improve kidney disease treatments and preventive measures.”

Prof Brian Rodriguez’s group (UCD) has received a second US-Ireland Programme award, for work that could lead to the development of computing with low power requirements. Dr Patrick McGetrick’s University of Galway research group have also received their second US-Ireland award with research on robotics in steel building. Prof Daniel Kilper (TCD), Director of the Connect SFI Research Centre for Future Networks and Communications has received a second Centre to Centre award with research that aims to realise telecommunication systems that support quantum computing.

The 27 collaborating institutions are Dublin City University (DCU), Maynooth University (MU), South East Technological University (SETU), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Tyndall National institute (TNI), University of Galway, and University College Dublin (UCD) in the Republic of Ireland; Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and Ulster University (UU) in Northern Ireland; and Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard Medical School & Mass General Hospital, James Madison University, Kent State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, Texas A&M University, University of Arizona, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of South Florida, University of Texas at Austin, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Texas at San Antonio, University of Utah, University of Virginia, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the United States.

For more information on the programme, visit here.