Science Foundation Ireland’s new strategy, Shaping Our Future, has been developed to unlock the potential of Irish research to meet current challenges, seize future opportunities and support the priorities outlined in Ireland’s recent Programme for Government: Our Shared Future. SFI will work with the newly established Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, and across other Departments and agencies, to foster a cohesive research and innovation ecosystem that will support Ireland’s competitiveness and societal needs, including a rapid recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. We will support the researchers and innovators who will ensure Ireland’s resilience to climate change, future pandemics and other challenges that arise in the future.

Our vision is that Ireland will be a Global Innovation Leader in scientific and engineering research for the advancement of Ireland’s economy and society.

Science Foundation Ireland’s new strategy has two core ambitions: Delivering Today and Preparing for Tomorrow:

Delivering Today: To deliver on our vision for Ireland we will develop more top talent, build on Ireland’s excellent research base, and maximise the tangible benefits for our economy and society, addressing current challenges and supporting quality jobs and a competitive economy.

Preparing for Tomorrow: As a small country, Ireland can best compete by developing a cohesive research ecosystem capable of taking first mover advantage in new and emergent fields. We will identify and develop the future skills required for Ireland’s future economy and society. SFI’s new strategy emphasises anticipating what’s next and adapting our approach to lead in these new areas of discovery. To achieve this, SFI will engage and collaborate more widely and deeply with all stakeholders.

Shaping Our Future sets out ambitious actions and targets in order to meet its objectives.  Some of the areas that the strategy aims to deliver include:

  • Increase the number of SFI individual-led awards to 140 annually by 2025.
  • Increase the number of SFI Centres for Research Training to 18 by 2025.
  • Attract 20 world-leading researchers to Ireland annually by 2025.
  • Establish a national challenge capability of scale.
  • SFI supported researchers cited in scientific journals 2.0 times the global average.
  • 35% women leaders in research.
  • 65% of postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers departing to positions outside academia after 6 years.