Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry has announced £3.5million of research funding for seven research projects – including sustainable food production – all involving Queen’s University Belfast.
The funding will support successful Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Investigators Programme projects through the SFI-DEL Investigators Programme Partnership.
The Minister said: “The SFI-DEL Investigators Programme Partnership is of significant benefit to Northern Ireland both economically and socially. I welcome that seven projects involving Queen’s University collaborating as partners with research institutions in the Republic of Ireland have been successful in SFI’s prestigious Investigators Programme.
“My Department will be providing £3.5million to support these ground breaking research projects in areas such as Energy, Sustainable Food Production and Processing, Parallel Computing, Processing Technologies and Advanced Materials and Personalised Medicine.
“These research collaborations will not only address fundamental research issues but will also strengthen cross border research alliances and help Northern Ireland to bring further success under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.”
The SFI-DEL Investigators Programme Partnership supports collaborative projects involving universities from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in undertaking excellent scientific research that has the potential to impact society and the economy. The seven successful projects were selected following international competitive peer review involving 400 international scientists.
Dr Darrin Morrissey, Director of Programmes at SFI, said: “Peer reviewed by international experts, these research projects are of the highest standards for scientific excellence and have the potential to lead to new breakthroughs in areas such as wastewater treatment, fisheries management, personalized medicine, high performance computing and agriculture.
“These collaborative research projects will strengthen cross-border research and provide a basis for leveraging alternative funding such as the EU’s Horizon 2020 Programme. It allows researchers across the island of Ireland to further their careers and build partnerships with leading industry partners who also benefit from access to some of the leading academic talent on this island.”
Scott Rutherford, Director of Research and Enterprise at Queen’s University, said: “We are delighted that seven research projects at Queen’s have received funding from the SFI-DEL Investigators Programme Partnership. This is a prestigious programme and this success reflects the high calibre of world-leading research being undertaken at Queen’s which is having a very real impact on the economy.
“The research projects, which cover areas such as Energy, Food Security, Parallel Computing, Processing Technologies and Advanced Materials and Personalised Medicine, are further evidence of Queen’s commitment to research which advances knowledge and changes lives.
“I am delighted that Queen’s researchers have made such a strong showing in the early stages of this All-Island initiative, which opens up substantial future collaborative opportunities with Science Foundation Ireland.”