Minister Sherlock announces 6.5million for 58 research projects

Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD, has today (Thursday 23 Feb) announced Government funding via the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation of over €6.5million covering 58 research awards.

The investment is being made as part of Science Foundation Ireland’s Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) programme and will enable SFI-funded research groups to focus on the first steps of an applied research project which may have a commercial benefit if further developed.

Making the announcement at Dublin’s RDS, Minister Sherlock said: “The TIDA Programme focuses on the first stages of an applied research project.  It provides financial support to research teams to enable them to get from concept to market.”

The Minister added: “There is a particular momentum at present in the drive to commercialise scientific research. This is at the core of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2012, announced last week: investment in research leading to jobs”.

Minister Sherlock also took the opportunity to urge the wider research community to support all endeavours towards commercialisation of research, stating “While today is an endorsement of research endeavours, it is also very much a call to action for all higher education institutions to get behind and support their researchers in every way possible towards facilitating the commercialisation of their research”.

The Minister concluded by saying that “The spirit of convergence and collaboration that has characterised Irish scientific research over the past decade is not only the best way forward – it is the only way forward.”

Welcoming the Minister’s announcement, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, Professor Mark Ferguson, said: “The TIDA awards being announced today will make a telling impact on how academia and enterprise intertwine towards commercialisation. The projects present significant opportunities for commercialization of research and potential treatments in diverse areas such as new drug delivery system, new transistor devices, 4G wireless communication, cornea repair, SMART needles, hay fever, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, biomass, wastewater treatment and acoustic sensors to detect damage in pipes. Enterprise Ireland has played a key role in the programme’s selection process, further underpinning the market potential of the award recipients.”